IT And Innovation

Words like ‘Digital’ and ‘Innovation’ tend to interest and excite business owners and their shareholders.  However, what does this actually translate to?  This article talks about both of these topics.

Think of digital as being the opposite of manual, and the opposite of paper.  Where are these opportunities in your business or organisation to digitise data, information and services?  For example, a quick win is a digital set of contacts, shared by all those people who need access to up-to-date contact information.  Another example is a shared digital calendar, allowing your team to see forthcoming events, and allow them to plan so accordingly.  This shared visibility allows extra time for your team to prepare as best they can.  Perhaps, it is a pitch to a large prospective customer.  The extra time to prepare could give you the edge over a disorganised competitor.

Project or product records, patient data or test data are all measured digitally.  Often the results are then recorded on paper.  Think about this for a moment.  It is all pretty crazy – digital, paper, digital.  We need to collect digitally and store digitally – without translating to and from paper as an intermediary step.  The UK Government is using the ‘digital by default’ mantra, which I think sums up how we should all be thinking.

So what about innovation?  This word is brandished in the media, in the world of government and business, but no-one ever qualifies what it means.  I think it means taking a concept or idea, and working it along a number of steps into an implemented product, service, procedure or action.  At each step the ‘value’ or ‘return on investment’ to the organisation should be estimated.

Most digital and innovation projects will likely involve technology.  There are many good examples of IT and technology bringing benefits to customers and service users.  Look around, I bet they are there but you kind of adopted them without realising.


Photo by Boegh / CC