How to drive innovation and business growth

Article from PWC


  • Innovation can manifest itself in multiple ways, whether in a technology change that determines the products and services you deliver, or a business model change that defines the value you deliver. Companies must determine the types of innovation they need—incremental, breakthrough, or radical:
    • Incremental innovations make small changes to a company’s existing technologies and business models
    • Breakthrough innovations make significant changes to either the technology or business model, producing significant growth
    • Radical innovations, which take place more rarely, combine technology and business model innovation to create major new industries with exponential growth
  • Although breakthrough innovation is transformational, it’s often the buildup of incremental but continuous innovation around existing technologies and business models that can transform the way a company does business
  • While it’s clear that technology must be at the center of innovation, IT itself can be a barrier to innovation. IT complexity is among the biggest obstacles, as companies that have to maintain very complex IT infrastructure don’t have the time or budget to focus on innovation
  • There are four key technologies that have converged to drive innovation: social networking, mobile computing,
    analytics, and cloud computing
  • Top-performing companies show greater mastery in how they leverage
    these four digital technologies to plan, innovate, measure results, interact with customers, and create value
  • … there are fundamental shifts that not only provide ways to create value, but also put a whole new set of pressure on businesses:
    • Customer expectations
    • Employee expectations
    • Capabilities to co-create solutions in markets
  • The evolution of the mobile device has taken it through the following stages:
    • Communication platform – providing the ability to communicate without being tied to your desk
    • Application platform – providing apps (like a contact manager and calendar), and eventually becoming a true platform to deliver applications via smart phones
    • Sensing platform – providing context-aware data (using built-in GPS, digital camera, environmental sensing, etc.)
    • Digital representation of self – an extension of the individual in a digital world
  • The mobile device has evolved from being merely a digital information manager to a full-fledged digital assistant
  • Enterprises are being inundated with vast amounts of data today–whether from existing business systems or from new information sources such as social media, mobile devices, and the cloud-based online marketplace. The challenge of big data comes from the exponential growth in data volumes and constantly emerging information sources
  • The cloud increasingly contains more of the information and applications that people use
  • Fundamentally, cloud computing enables this innovation by helping companies to optimize,
    innovate and proliferate new value across four business value lenses:

    • Transforming IT
    • Transforming business processes
    • Innovating new products and services
    • Energizing channels and communities

How to get started on your innovation journey

  • First and foremost, companies need to understand how to organize themselves around innovation and how to get the best results from innovation. Companies must first consider their strategic imperatives, and how they can make a holistic transformation through people, process and structure.
  • The next step is to identify the technologies that are best-suited to their unique circumstances. Companies should work to improve enterprise productivity by reducing complexity and then drive a more agile IT environment that is an enabler for business growth, through the use of emerging technologies such as the four we’ve mentioned here.
    • Use social networks to communicate and collaborate with employees as well as customers and business
      partners to co-create and generate ideas for new products and service.
    • Enable a mobile workforce that can collaborate anytime from anywhere.
    • Leverage analytics to derive value from connected data and get a 360-degree view of your information.
    • Utilize cloud technologies to optimize your IT, transform your business processes, accelerate the creation of innovative products and services, and co-create with your community
  • Finally, companies need to consider how they would be able to measure the overall business value and impact –and how they would create and sustain appropriate executive commitment and organizational incentives to execute the innovation program successfully



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