Sagive Greenspan, a market-savvy IT, and tech industry veteran. CEO at Priority, a leading global business management solutions provider.
My path in the world of information systems started when I was a developer. By virtue of my role and as a die-hard technology and innovation enthusiast, I have been exposed to multiple technological innovations, some more exciting than others. Over the years, many of the innovative technologies, from procedures through products and services, have come and gone, with only a few remaining for the long run, and even fewer that serve us daily.
Today, as CEO of one of the most exciting technology solutions providers, I understand why and how some of the most innovative technologies we have developed over time didn’t always pass the test of supply and demand in the real world.
In today’s digital age, any newfangled technology-driven application, product or feature excites us before it’s even available for purchase. Often without thinking, we say, “I must have it!” But we sometimes forget that the technology itself is irrelevant, and it’s not always the cornerstone of digital innovation.
I will conclude this first section with an unpopular statement: Technology by itself is meaningless.
Before you pull your swords out of their sheaths, think about this: A common theme when it comes to tech that promised us a “whole new world” but then spiraled downward is that it died a death by a thousand cuts. One of the latest and perhaps the most extreme examples is Google Glass. It promised to revolutionize the way we live and work, making headlines the world over. Despite the initial buzz, issues such as limited applications, a high price tag or the possibility of people being recorded in public without them knowing raised a lot of concerns and rendered Google’s innovative mainstream tech dream rather unwanted, and useless.
Perhaps here, it’s fitting to remember the words of Thomas Edison: “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”
Putting The Wow Before The How
The outlook in which innovation is the goal and not the means is rather immature, backed by the strive to be different and exciting, but a lot of the world’s problems can be solved by transforming existing processes to drive efficiency and augmented user experience. New ideas are not imperative, action is.
Technology is nothing more than a means to an end — generating value along the way. Any new feature, as awesome and innovative as it may be, will not make us swipe left or right on a touch screen if it doesn’t help us perform a task better, easier or faster. Experience is the name of the game. At the end of the day, innovation is the process by which an idea is translated into a service that people are first, willing to use and second, pay for.
We live in an era where we’re driven by time — and the apparent lack of it — trying to do everything in the shortest time possible, and always in pursuit of the next available minute. It stands to reason that any new software, gadget or gizmo that will allow us to achieve our goals in record time will quickly become an integral part of our lives.
A Never-Ending Process Of Change And Improvement
On the flip side, innovation is often pursued to solve a clearly defined problem that requires pioneering technology to build a solution from the ground up. Take Uber, for example — the world’s largest mobility as a service provider with operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. Yet it does not own a single vehicle. Instead, it simply created a good enough technological infrastructure that meets a critical daily need. In the digital world, technology is an enabler for innovation. It envelops the product with value and experience that in the end constitutes the most important variable in moving the dial — creating brand loyalty.
IT Innovation — It’s A Personal Thing
The same powerful tech ingredients are funneled into the development, adoption and implementation of advanced functionality in today’s business management systems, be it an ERP, CRM or any other software solution that drives the day-to-day operations of hundreds of industry sectors.
Business management software is the core of the IT landscape of most enterprises; however, once in place, many systems remain stagnated, barely leaving room for diversity. To drive innovation, automation and digital transformation to the business management system, enterprises using or planning to implement a business management platform need to decide what their future role will be.
The first milestone for digital innovation in business management software is identifying a need for research designed to futureproof and visionary models for tech transformation. By no means does this imply that new, disruptive technologies are not a market-driving force. Rather, it means that digital innovation should be powered by a thorough assessment of an organization’s current processes and future business strategy, together with the organization’s decision-makers and stakeholders, in line with their specific needs and level of tech literacy.
Successful adoption of new and advanced technologies in enterprise applications greatly depends on how an organization thinks their ERP system should evolve. Integration, automation and customer experience capabilities, backed by system flexibility and scalability that’s durable enough to serve future business growth and withstand industry and market transformations, are critical starting points.
Together with the objective of empowering employees with intuitive, user-centric tools that support collaboration, enterprises must also define whether they want to merely realize a standard business platform implementation, or step outside the norm and drive technological innovation. When it comes to gaining a better understanding of what features or functionality should be accessible to every system user, if you have to choose between existing or potential, start with existing first. Deep dive into users’ real needs via thorough data analysis, and work toward enhancing and refining your submitted value proposition.
So, what’s my take on the basis of digital innovation today? It’s not technology, but rather a never-ending process of change, validation and continuous improvement. Or, as it was once called, listening.
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