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December 10, 2012

What else?

Posted by Anand Prasad Arkalgud (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:24 AM

Enterprises  go about their business - hurdling challenges, harnessing opportunities - as a matter of business-as-usual. And, every once a while, leaders stop to ask "what else?" How can we take that big leap? What's that big idea...that big pursuit...that'll make that big difference. And, it's easy to fall into a trap here; and begin to think that this "what else" or innovation is something to be tracked outside of business-as-usual. In fact, this big new idea can simply be that which makes the very same business-as-usual faster, easier or better  by rewriting the formula that the business leverages to get its work done every day.

But the minute one spells "innovation" there are two pat responses - the i-pad or 'flying cars' kind of innovation where the exact promises this holds for business is somewhat unclear. The other is that innovation entails R&D and is therefore expensive. We don't always remember, there's also a fast-follower option....learning  quickly from others ...sometimes others from other industries.

Today, technology has come a long way from merely supporting business competitiveness to becoming a catalyst of change.There is a growing acceptance of its influence over business direction and its potential to seed business models of the future. I believe that the time has come for technology, and IT in particular, to play a more proactive role in shaping business; to be an equal participant in generating ideas for "what else" business can or needs to be. Tabling four clear charters - business unit/function needs, strategic intent of the enterprise, the technology premise of the enterprise,extrapolations from examples of innovation from other industries that can be put to use in one's own context - can help enterprises arrive at a  meaningful answer to that elusive "what else".

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