Business Innovation in the Internet Age
Innovation is a fundamental requirement for building a sustainable organization. That said, innovating isn't an easy task. Few organizations have built an innovation framework that fosters economically sound and measured innovation. As the internet and subsequent globalization increase the volume and accessibility of new ideas, it's become more important for companies to innovate intelligently, consistently and quickly. By leveraging internet offerings, both as a vehicle for mass communication and a distributed application, companies can integrate the internet as a means for innovation.
At the most basic level, internet integration requires an acceptance of change. Building a culture of change means being comfortable with alterations in resources, roles, technologies and processes. This can mean a fundamental shift in company values and culture.
Businesses today move much faster and have access to more raw data and information than ever before. In the internet age, an organization must possess the ability to transform data into knowledge, then turn knowledge into decisions. This means that the correct resources will be empowered with the appropriate information for innovation.
Here are a few features of an innovative, internet integrated company:
- Adaptable resources. The value system by which organizations function. This is defined as the standards and priorities set by employees. As employees conduct more independent decision making to meet strategic direction and outcomes, organizations will adjust more easily to global fluctuation in capability and capacity. Thus, acceptable gross margins will adjust to follow sustainable profit volume goals.
- Optimized customer flow. Businesses realize that consumers move between traditional and online platforms to consume media and interact with brands. They have a clear understanding of the true value and cost of their marketing efforts, as they don't isolate their media and brand endeavors into siloed data buckets. Instead, they can find out what media drives sales and discern the appropriate attribution of cost to allow for proper optimization of value. In doing so, organizations can better develop new products and services.
- Maximized Profit Volume. By using the internet as a distributed application and global medium, brands have more resources available to them to further change and expand.
Consider the following points in your quest to make your business an innovative, internet integrated company:
- Does your company have the resources in place to develop internet integration?
- Does your company have a process in place that prevents or accepts the internet into all parts of the organization? Will it allow modification of process over time?
- Can your company's values change over time as it learns what your customers want? Can it design products and services that customers can’t even imagine today?
- Will your company's culture support change that's healthy and self-sustaining, allowing it to thrive long after we have all moved on?
Only a few companies will challenge themselves to these questions, but those that do will change the world for the rest.