Innovation is a necessity for every business to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. While innovation traditionally came from R&D, today every part of the business needs to be actively engaged in continually innovating everything they do. Today’s innovation does not necessarily happen in clean-rooms, but in the trenches of manufacturing, delivery and service. Technology led innovation has taken center stage and has fundamentally changed every aspects of the business world. From digital transformation to machine learning to analytics and artificial intelligence, IT departments have found themselves in the forefront of driving innovation at most organizations. The natural propensity for technologists to play and work with advance engineering solutions, coupled with a deeper appreciation for the data and processes that drives the business, has placed IT leaders in a position to take over the reins of innovation and development from the traditional business elements. While this creates a very exciting and fascinating world for IT, it also requires IT to create the foundation that could enable and facilitate all of these innovations. That degree of articulate planning requires discipline, foresight and ingenuity that is hard to master and still harder to deliver in a sustainable manner.
Putting in place the correct ecosystem of solutions can enable businesses to not only innovate quickly, but also to bring the innovations to the market with speed. Designing and implementing that nimble, efficient, transparent ecosystem of loosely coupled services and solutions has become a pressing challenge for most IT leaders. While there is no simple solution IT needs to do everything possible to encourage and facilitate innovation and never stand in its path.
The March meeting of the UW E-Business Consortium’s IT peer group will examine ways IT can develop an innovation enabled technology stack that supports and fosters innovation and doesn’t impede it. This meeting will give the opportunity for IT leaders and business leaders to discuss best ways to foster and enable innovation, and specifically the role IT plays.
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