Stop innovation failure: democratise your approach


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Wednesday 24 April 2024 14:25 BST
Remember Google Glass? The innovation graveyard is littered with once-promising ideas
Remember Google Glass? The innovation graveyard is littered with once-promising ideas (Boomi)

Boomi is a Business Reporter client.

Why do 95 per cent of new products fail each year, despite massive investments and advanced technology? From Google Glass to New Coke and Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, the innovation graveyard is littered with once-promising ideas. This harsh reality exposes a fundamental flaw in traditional innovation: siloed processes that stifle creativity and hinder agility.

There are several reasons why products miss the mark: inadequate market research, which leads to a poor understanding of customer requirements and product-market misfit; flawed design and user experience; delays to launch; and cutthroat competition. These expensive ideation and development issues can be overcome when businesses make opportunities for innovation available to stakeholders across the organisation.

Siloed innovation, a short-sighted approach

Traditionally, the responsibility for designing and developing digital solutions was the sole responsibility of IT teams. While this approach ensures technical expertise and adherence to security standards, it can lead to:

● Limited idea generation: Innovation becomes siloed within the IT department, potentially overlooking valuable insights from other business units

● Slow development cycles: Long wait times for IT resources can hinder innovation and responsiveness to market demands

● Misaligned solutions: Solutions might not fully address the needs of business users, leading to inefficiencies and frustration

This is where democratisation of innovation comes into play – empowering business users to participate in solution design and development. Whether it’s physical or digital innovation, democratising the process drives creativity while perpetuating a diverse and competitive user base.

There are several examples of user-based innovations in the physical world, ranging from the introduction of surgical equipment to mountain bikes and surfboards. In the digital sector, open-source software is crucial to the democratiation of innovation.

Empower everyone to innovate

Organisations across industries are keen to capitalise on the hidden potential of business users who, until now, were held back by a lack of technical expertise. By democratising access to data and technology well outside traditional tech silos, organisations can foster a larger marketplace of ideas and develop solutions that are agile and aligned to business objectives.

A collaborative approach with accessible tools

Equipping business users with the right tools and guidance to actively participate in the solution development process is crucial to democratising innovation. Doing so fosters a collaborative environment where:

●  Business users can leverage their domain expertise to identify problems, design solutions and iterate based on user feedback

●  IT teams can provide oversight, ensure technical feasibility, and maintain security and governance

Below are four ways that innovation can be democratised by using the right tools.

1) Unlock efficiency with intelligent guidance

Organisations can provide tools to help business users bridge the gap between ideas and action, streamline development, eliminate errors and deliver efficient and innovative solutions.

● Simple, intuitive tools: User-friendly interfaces and drag-and-drop functionalities that enable business users to build solutions without extensive coding knowledge

● Step-by-step guidance: Real-time prompts, tutorials and prebuilt components simplify complex tasks and reduce errors

● Natural language processing: Users can interact with the tools using natural language, making the development process more intuitive

2) Collaborative innovation with IT expertise

Striking the right balance between IT solutioning and IT supervision is crucial to improve an organisation’s efficiency and competitiveness. Tools should allow business users to adapt, experiment and stay ahead of the curve without compromising the organisation’s security, stability or compliance.

● Governance and security controls: IT teams maintain control over critical elements such as data security, compliance and integration with existing systems

● Collaboration platforms: Tools facilitate communication and collaboration between business and IT teams, ensuring alignment and adherence to best practices

3) Accelerate creativity with parallel development

Promoting parallel development is essential to step up the pace of innovation. Tools that help teams access common resources, models, code bases and datasets will allow them to build upon each other’s work.

● Shared environments and assets: Teams can work simultaneously on different aspects of a solution, accelerating development and reducing time to market

● Version control and conflict resolution: Tools ensure seamless collaboration and prevent conflicts when multiple users work on the same project

4) Offer a secure, stable and scalable platform

Often considered a trifecta of crucial features for any system, platform or infrastructure used in today’s digital world, security, stability and scalability are non-negotiable aspects of the solution.

● Robust security features: The platform must comply with industry regulations and safeguard sensitive data

● High uptime and reliable performance: Consistent availability and responsiveness are crucial for uninterrupted development and deployment

● Scalability to accommodate growth: The solution should adapt to evolving business needs and support future expansion

Democratising innovation should be a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to thrive in today’s dynamic landscape. The Boomi intelligent integration and automation platform allows organisations to unleash the power of innovation across the enterprise.

The low-code, cloud-native Boomi platform is a user-friendly solution that simplifies complex tasks, empowers business users to contribute ideas, and enables IT teams to support ambitious projects – all with a single, intuitive interface.

Sign up for a free trial of Boomi today to experience the transformative power of collaborative innovation.

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