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Innovate as if your job depended on it!

Kevin Noonan | Oct. 8, 2013
Today's IT managers are faced with no shortage of competing priorities, each demanding their time and attention. Unfortunately when the pressures begin to stack up, innovation can often be seen as an unaffordable luxury.

Choosing the right candidate projects
Innovation is not the answer to all problems. Indeed, choosing the right candidate projects can be one of the most significant success factors. Some organisations are achieving significant outcomes by following three simple guidelines:

Find common solutions for common problems. Much has already been written about the commoditisation of IT, and the savings available through commonly available solutions. Commoditisation is inevitable. It offers faster solutions that are frequently better value for money. However, the really big value is that common solutions create more space so IT can direct precious time and effort to bigger issues.

Find uncommon solutions for uncommon problems. There will always be a requirement for bespoke systems, but there is a need to critically challenge and re-evaluate their business case.

Every dog is someone's pet. Even with the worst IT systems, there is sure to be somebody in the enterprise who still loves it, and fights for its survival. However, the big challenge is still to create more space for innovation, so there is a need to confront these tough decisions.

Find innovative solutions but consider the risks and rewards The big challenge is to focus corporate efforts on innovation that offers solid opportunities. Disregard the rest. Big, high profile projects are giving way to innovation in much smaller increments. There is nothing wrong with baby steps, particularly where the risk/reward equation is favourable.

Potential rewards need to be measured in the context of each particular enterprise. History is littered with good ideas delivered in the wrong organisation. For example, some decades ago, Xerox invented the mouse and the graphical user interface.

However, these ideas added little value for a document company. Microsoft and Apple quickly recognised the synergy of these ideas with their own core business. The rest is history.

 

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