What is innovation and what does it mean for your business?
For businesses aiming to be competitive on a global scale, there are often many buzzwords thrown around- so much so that these words begin to lose their meaning. The word “innovation” is one of them and it can refer to everything from the introduction of a new colour of Post-It note to the release of a new iPhone. But what is innovation and how can you use it to drive your business forward?
When we’re talking about innovation in business, we’re generally referring to changing or creating business processes and making them more effective.
It’s important to understand that being innovative doesn’t necessarily mean “inventing”. Innovation can also mean adapting to changes in your business environment, changing your business model or updating your technology to better serve your clients.
Incorporating innovation into your business is an excellent way to save time and money while ensuring you have a competitive advantage to adapt and grow your business. Businesses that focus on innovation have greater efficiency, better performance, more productive staff, and are more likely to overtake their competitors.
Just half a century ago when you were talking about competition it was generally from your local region. Today, if you produce a product or offer a service you’re competing with businesses around the world, and as the world becomes increasingly competitive the only way to respond is to focus on being relentlessly innovative.
Only businesses that are consistently challenging themselves to find new and better ways of doing things, and continuing to improve on the things they’re already doing will survive and thrive in this globally competitive environment.
By choosing to encourage innovation, you’ll be better equipped to anticipate future business trends, discover potential opportunities for the future, and keep up with shifting technologies and markets.
How do you embrace innovation?
Creativity and innovation go hand in hand, and while creativity means producing new, unique ideas, innovation is when you actually implement these ideas by offering a new solution, product, process or idea.
Training and empowering your employees to think outside the box is one of the best ways to drive innovation in your business. Creative minds bring new ideas and better ways of doing things, so fostering an environment that welcomes these ideas is crucial. This means giving employees both time and resources so that they can explore new ideas and figure out ways to do things better.
It’s also important to research your market and discover the services and products that your customers want and the things they currently can’t get. It’s essential to know your customers if you want to serve them effectively, and the more you know about their hopes, dreams, needs and the things keeping them up at night, the better equipped you’ll be to provide the solutions to their problems.
Customers can also bring you a fresh perspective and suggest ways in which you can improve, which is why your business should be open to regularly exchanging ideas with everyone involved.
While it’s never a good idea to become overly obsessed with your competition, checking out your competitors and evaluating what they’re doing right (and wrong) can also help you take advantage of their weak areas and do things better.
How does custom software encourage business innovation?
Embracing technology is key if you’re looking to innovate. For many businesses, this will mean upgrading software and investing in a custom software solution.
A Market Wired Survey questioned 306 information technology decision makers and found that of the respondents, 72% acknowledged that traditional software solutions are too slow, preventing their companies from embracing digital business innovation.
A huge 90% of those surveyed believe that custom software is responsible for driving technology innovation and that there are a number of other factors that have led custom software to be a top source when it comes to business solutions.
The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 showed that in 2015, theft of intellectual property increased by a massive 56%, and security incidents increased by 38% compared to 2014. This is one reason why many companies are turning to custom software to ensure that their data is secure and safe.
Custom software allows a business to grow without being limited by its hardware or software. Because developers can tailor a program to best suit each individual business, it can be easily changed according to the needs of that business, without inhibiting innovation or restricting the amount of storage, users or integrations.
This means that there’s more room for lateral thinking, as businesses aren’t limited by their technology. Streamlining processes will become easier and more effective, it’s easier to implement changes, and software can be adjusted depending on the growing and changing needs of your employees.
If you’re planning to focus on innovation this year, custom software is one of the best ways to open the door for more creative solutions. We believe in collaborating with you to develop custom software that allows you to embrace innovation and grow your business. Call or email us today to learn how we can help you reach your goals this year.
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