Monday, August 23, 2004

The importance of innovation

Ross Mayfield references Tim Wu questioning the importance of innovation. Tim and Ross seem to be missing the boat just a bit on this one. Innovation isn't solely creating new; it's aslo about making sure that new stuff gets applied. If diseases that have essentially been eradicated in the West are still killing people in developing countries, figuring out new and effective ways to distribute and administer vaccines in those nations is innovation.

As an IT architect, my job isn't solely to find and implement new technologies that address business needs more effectively than the old, it is to make sure that they are appropriately adopted. If the business doesn't effectively leverage the investments we've made in technology, what good have we done? If I don't help reshape business processes to be more effective, have I done anything innovative?

In short, innovation isn't just about creating new technology, it's also about adapting or creating processes to really use that technology. So while we disagree about what innovation is, we seem to agree on that leveraging what we have already created fully is a worthy and often overlooked area.

1 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

Forrester Research seems to agree with me. Here's their definition of innovation:

When inventions intersect a business process and change the way something is done, experienced, or created.

8:37 AM  

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