While innovation is rightfully widely hailed as a key element of business success the widespread day-to-day practice in many organizations seems to confirm that there is no real commitment to innovative efforts other than paying lip service. Yet most good managers are aware of of this dilemma but the current bureaucratic business and IT environment is usually too rigid to allow them swift responses when opportunities arise. It is therefore essential that managers become technology savvy and understand the immense power of change potential that IT can create. To ensure that their businesses remain competitive they ultimately need to consider how they want to use IT to enable knowledge and innovation.
Only businesses that manage to use technology as an innovation enabler are shooting past those that control IT and/or processes by using excessive bureaucracy in terms of governance, centers of excellence and best practices. Each day a business does not innovate it falls behind because the economy is a six-lane highway and the speed limits are going up each year. If they stop to execute lengthy innovation processes to figure out whether you need to go straight or exit, they will get run over. Missing the right exit will cost time and money. Businesses take thousands of those decisions each day and the more of these are automated, the less does a business consider direction in relationship to outside conditions. Evolutionary change can’t be encoded into innovative processes. The long-term impact of suppressing tacit knowledge and change through optimization is dramatic.
The only way to enable the business to improve innovative processes and emerging practices through transparency, flexibility and adaptability of business operations is an embedded Business Architecture including strategy, capabilities, relationships, business entities, and processes. This in turn requires that the interaction is driven by users and not by some predefined process. All that is needed instead is collaborative information sharing and free-flow execution between many possible service and resolution tasks while management can intervene for guidance and advice. Instead of bureaucracy and methodology to tie them down technology must empower the actors and provide the means to achieve a specified goal and create true business value.