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IT Innovation in Small and Mid-sized Business

IT Innovation in Small and Mid-sized Business

Many Definitions of Innovation

I’m a firm believer in Information Technology Innovation (IT Innovation).  Today, businesses, both large and small, must be innovative in their approach to Information Technology, to be competitive.   What does this mean?   Attempting to define IT Innovation, there is a myriad of possibilities.  Most believe there is no real definition to IT Innovation.  In fact, many believe that the definition to IT Innovation changes depending on the situation.   I believe all to be true.

For example, in the small business setting, the innovation may be driven by costs, and to be innovative means to find creative ways to deliver a solid IT solution, with little to no cost.   In a larger setting, to be innovative may mean bringing in the newest technologies and integrating them in a way that delivers the greatest capacity, meets the highest demand, with little to no downtime, and without compromising budget needs.

Technology Changing

Technology changes daily.   Server technology is rapidly changing to hyper-converged platforms.  This is innovative in and of itself.   Those who can afford such technologies are rapidly moving in this direction.   For the smaller business, this technology may be cost prohibitive at this time.  However, the smaller business may find innovation in Open Source solutions, delivering a highly technical and innovative solution in systems such as Linux and databases such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

One has to truly understand the business needs before creating and delivering innovation.   Often times the innovation is driven by cost and keeping cost low.  Some companies deliver IT Innovation in sourcing their IT Management and Services from outside suppliers.  Working from a menu, what are the needs of the business, and identifying ways through outside sources, to deliver on those needs, without spending on internal infrastructure or internal staffing. 

What does it take?

Innovation, or to be innovative, has no cost of its own.  Leadership vision, the corporate culture often leads to creative and innovative solutions.   It is that vision that is the driving factor toward innovation.  Short term vision, the inability to see ahead, is certainly a stumbling block to delivering innovation.  It is the outward vision..down the road, long term.. that can see where technologies can integrate and support each other that leads to innovation. 

Whatever the need, IT Innovation takes many different definitions, and clearly those definitions are determined by the current situation.   Sit down with a note pad, whiteboard ideas with your peers, brainstorm areas that are opportunities, dream a little, and see what that delivers toward innovation.  You might be surprised at the results.

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