Understanding Mobile Innovation

What is mobile innovation?

Technically speaking, innovation occurs when something new is introduced, or when an improvement is made on something that’s established. Innovation is sought either to meet a need on a large scale, or by a visionary that sees a new way of creating value. Innovation is the catalyst for growth. It takes the “what is” of today and turns it into the “what could be” of tomorrow. Mobile innovation leverages the phenomenon of software being melded with hardware to realize fresh ideas that provide value.

Incremental v.s. Disruptive

There are two ways an organization can innovate. On one hand, an organization can improve incrementally by adding value to existing processes or products. On the other hand, a company may choose to redefine the entire landscape through a disruptive business model, process, or product. If you think of mobile innovation as a spectrum; the two extremes would be incremental and disruptive changes. A company can shift its place within this spectrum by presenting barriers or gateways for innovation within the organization.

Common “blockers” within large organizations are factors like the organizational structure, levels of bureaucracy, budget processes, and legacy technologies. As a result, a great deal of incremental mobile innovation is self-contained within a specific department. The beautiful thing about mobile is that it effects every department in an organization, not just one or two. This presents a huge opportunity for large companies. Disruptive mobile innovation can be realized by centralizing mobile and connected technologies between multiple departments. This requires gateways to be created to facilitate disruptive innovation to take place.

The Application of Mobile Innovation

In order for an organization to realize, sustainable, long term benefit from mobile and connected technologies, it needs to foster a culture of innovation. Everyone in the company needs to be pushing themselves and each other to innovate. It’s just as much a technological shift as it is a cultural shift. There are many ways to accomplish this, but, at the end of the day, it starts at the top. The leaders in the organization set the tone throughout the rest of the company. They need to be on board if any true mobile innovation will manifest itself.

The Balancing Act

To reach optimal success, a company must find the right balance between incremental and disruptive innovation. This balance is different for every company. It’s not always possible to disrupt the entire business process and stay profitable in the present. Some industries are undergoing disruption at faster rates like education technology or the publishing industry vs. the retail industry. The former have been undergoing huge changes in their business model for a number of years already. Disruption is the name of the game and the dust still hasn’t settled. Other industries are still farther out from undergoing massive disruption. My underlying point is that disruption is inevitable. Regardless of what industry you’re in, mobile and connected technologies are game changers. If your industry hasn’t felt the disruption yet, it’s just a matter of time.

Filed under: Platform Innovation | Topics: mobile, mobile innovation, platforms

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