Enterprises need to constantly innovate with a business purpose to realize tangible improvements to our quality of life. The need for competitive differentiation requires enterprises to creatively apply human mind-power to the most challenging problems they face. The human brain has a way to dissect problems and come up with effective solutions within a particular domain. Innovative thinking is stimulated when the brain is used to apply these very techniques in other domains. Such applications are, in effect, artistic ways of triggering innovative thinking. To put it simply: They are practicing the Art of Innovation.
I had recently discussed ROI taking on a new definition — Return on Information — making the point that enterprises need to take action on Big Data in order to realize the business value of their most valuable asset. But there is another dimension to gaining value from data, especially when it comes to hosting brontobytes of data in a scalable infrastructure. In order for enterprises to act quickly, data needs to be available in an easily accessible, compact infrastructure; an environment where structured and unstructured data can be informationalized at a reduced cost. In other words, enterprises must realize their Return on Infrastructure — the third dimension of ROI.
While on vacation, I briefly discussed innovation with my college-going niece, Kavita. She was simply fascinated by the glasses-free, portable 3D display technology discussed by Katherine Bourzac in the MIT Technology Review. What followed was a dialog on what innovation really means. I found her perspective interesting. Kavita just might represent the next generation of innovators. Because she specializes in commerce, her view of innovation isn’t tainted by the urge to have a scientific marvel be a defining characteristic.
Here I go again. I’m getting ready, and am already excited to attend HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas from June 11 to 13. I’m already framing the foundation for my presentation on Predicting the future with Systems of Engagement. Having attended conferences (in June 2012 in Las Vegas and December 2012 in Frankfurt) I would characterize HP Discover as a System of Engagement in, and of itself. Rich segments of global enterprises attend, opening up unlimited opportunities for instant collaboration and thought-provoking innovations, just falling short of solving world hunger. Some of the key interactions that stand out for me at HP Discover conferences are:
CIOs have to take the right steps today to innovate the planet by 2020. These steps include strategic investments in the emerging technologies of today, and research in the technologies of tomorrow. Innovation is creativity applied. While emerging technological paradigms provide a fertile ground for the application of creativity, innovation can (and should) happen even in the elementary techniques used today. Innovation must be part of the bloodstream of the core competencies within an enterprise.