News > i3

New Technologies Take Center Stage

How to turn your consumer tech company into a powerhouse of innovation

Sales of high-tech products are expected to hit $377 billion this year, with an annual increase of six percent, according to a recent CTA report. But with new advances coming in fields ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) to smart home solutions, how can industry leaders stay competitive?

The secret to keeping ahead of the curve isn’t to slash costs to the bone or take fewer chances. Rather, it’s to double down on innovation and take more risks in the form of small, cost-effective learning experiments designed to help your business grow its capabilities and become more adaptable and forward thinking.

Success starts with realizing that innovation isn’t a one-time event. It’s an ongoing series of activities that every organization should engage in, and a process of self-reinvention. The more rapidly and affordably you can bring new solutions to bear with feedback from realworld shoppers, the faster you can streamline strategies to succeed.

To fuel these ventures, don’t cut expenses when planning your business strategy. This approach promotes short term gains at the expense of long-term growth and competitive advantage. Instead, reassess the products’ and programs’ value to the organization then funnel savings gained by shelving initiatives that are underperforming into more productive activities that help drive organizational growth.

Pioneering New Solutions

As fast as disruption occurs today, finding ways to streamline efforts and digest the consumer feedback that comes with them is crucial to sustaining market leadership. Creating systems that allow you to optimize efforts and try out new strategies and solutions don’t have to be expensive or time consuming.

For example, one global multinational cloud services and storage firm rolls out new apps every six weeks for under $20,000 on a year-round basis. Others regularly hold hackathons or host global innovation contests where workers vote on ideas to turn into product pilots. Others offer both employees and external parties access to open innovation portals where customers or partners can suggest ideas for new solutions.

Hundreds of technology tools and providers offer solutions for building an innovation framework or quickly testing new concepts. As a result, the process of turning your organization into a dynamo of innovation can be simple and affordable when you tap into the power of high-tech tools. Analytic programs and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can help you invent your way to success by:

  • Monitoring consumer behavior and predicting solutions shoppers need before they realize it.
  • Letting employees pool resources to create minimum viable products (MVP).
  • Leveraging networks of connected devices to better anticipate inventory needs and allocations, which products to stock and how to maximize sales conversion rates.
  • Accessing white-label solutions for quickly and affordably creating or redesigning custom-branded apps and online services; rolling out new programs or platforms; or adding new plug-and-play features to existing software or service solutions.

Mastering innovation isn’t so much about embracing a methodology as it is a mindset. The more comfortable you are with routinely stretching your comfort zone and capabilities, the easier the process of successful innovation will be.

Scott Steinberg