Why Digital Innovation is Important for Businesses

Sep 26 2020

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Today, Digital Innovation is at the heart of every business that is looking forward to setting up a new transformation example in front of the world. The Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, and 3 D Printing, for example, are some of the emerging technologies, building the backbone for that seismic shift.

A survey conducted by Coleman Parkes finds that 82 percent of respondents have embraced digital technologies to redefine their business models.

The benefits are manifold: companies are modernizing the ways to engage with customer-base, bringing new products and services to the market, and importantly digitizing their internal operations to do things in a better, faster, and cost-effective manner.

What is Digital Innovation, really?

Digital innovation is about exploring opportunities driven by digital technologies to make a meaningful change to a business. Put simply, it is the implementation of innovative technologies to existing business problems and outdated systems. And of course, it is an inevitable process as businesses will always explore innovative ways to solve existing and potential problems, and continue to be more consistent, efficient, relevant, and productive.

How does Digital Innovation Happen?

Digital Innovation can happen in many ways- replacing old systems to manage inventory, shopping carts, and customer experience for online retail platforms; upgrading critical applications to support last mile delivery with process improvements & modernization of any logistics business; improving manual processes for smoother day-to-day operations for fund-raising setups.

There are other examples of breakthrough technologies exist today:

- Self-driving vehicle - Domino’s DXP to expedite pizza delivery
- DHL’s smart glasses (Pick-by-Vision) with Ricoh and Ubimax to ensure smooth collection and delivery
- Walmart’s self-checkout counters to eliminate lanes during shopping checkout
- Personalized home décor assistance – Opun’s Limited

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40% of all businesses spending will embark on Digital Innovation projects to bring about positive changes.” – IDC

To remain competitive in this digital era, every business should embrace digital innovation at some point. By collaborating between enterprises, stacking up innovative workforce, leveraging opportunities to build digital products, businesses can bring transformation.

What Significant Benefits does Real-world Digital Innovation Entail?

Digital innovation is changing the entire business landscape and responding to the ever-evolving business needs. It is presenting tremendous opportunities for businesses. They can remodel traditional business processes using digital technologies, digitally transform outdated business models or invent new engagement models.

Companies employing digital innovation see several benefits, such as:

Streamlined Business Processes

Digitization of traditional business processes using automation and other integrated tools can streamline several business processes. For instance, having an eSignature system in place can enable a streamlined workflow within an organization.

Cut-down Operational Costs

Modernizing legacy systems can help organizations cut down operational costs, improve ROI, and uplift revenue. For example, moving to the cloud from legacy IT infrastructure can help companies save costs on maintenance-oriented activities.

Competitive Advantage

With the right set of digital tools and strategies, the great volume of data can be converted into useful insights. This further helps in making informed decisions. For instance, by using advanced analytics tools, marketers can look into customer behavior and gain competitive advantage by reforming their strategies.

Why is Digital Innovation Important for Businesses?

Since change is the only constant, digital innovation has become an inseparable part for all businesses, small, medium, large. Whether you are into logistics, retail, medical or manufacturing – digital disruption is across the industries.

Given below are the reasons why digital innovation is crucial for business.

Technology has Changed the way Businesses Operate

As Artificial Intelligence and robots become more capable over time, thousands of manual works have become fully automated which once required a larger workforce in manufacturing setups. Today, forklifts or assembly system put all the parts together to make a whole bicycle or even a car. Before, if people wished to see artworks, they would have to visit to a physical art gallery. Now, people who love art can view it online with an immersive experience from a variety of artists. Even the back-end process of shopping cart management for artworks is no longer a cumbersome process because online art galleries are modernizing this process using tools like Shopify + Sitecore integrations.

Today, technologies like AI, ML, Virtual Reality are setting up a strong ground for companies to progress and thrive. Companies that are resisting innovation-led changes found themselves no longer relevant to the market.

Customers’ Buying Behavior Have Changed

In modern times, the Internet and social media has changed the world at a cracking pace. Now, customers’ quick search starts with Google. Furthermore, reviews on Amazon, or comments on Facebook’s brand page. With the rise of subscription boxes, personalized recommendations, video ads, grocery delivery apps, customers are enjoying experiences without leaving their houses.

The point is you must adapt to modern technologies or find innovative ways of connecting with the right audience. You should take insights from consumer social media behavior to outreach more visitors and drive leads. Take advantage of mobile only culture because customers are no longer stick to one digital platform to get the things they are looking for. If your company doesn’t remain up to the date with how their audience reach them, there are chances that your business may lose them.

Companies pursuing Innovation have become Disruptor as opposed to being Disrupted

A recent PwC survey found that uncertain economic growth was one of the major concerns for CEO’s. The definite reason is CEO’s see their companies being disrupted by digital innovation. They see fierce competition from the new startups working on innovative solutions, and hence are uncertain to make a shift.

One notable example that illustrates the revamping of its aging business model is New York Road Runner (NYRR) group. With 60K+ runners who participate in the marathon and sign-ups for weekly races, the organization wanted to modernize its 50-year-old system. That legacy system was causing a roadblock to its growth in terms of frequent glitches in tracking races & internal operations.

Today, the NYRR group is running on omni-channel driven system. This system is capable of handling 50 transactions per second and serving thousands of people annually. Rethinking their business model using FRED, the company has seen a significant growth in capacity for races and events. The group now understands the customer journeys so that they could build personalized, meaningful experiences for runners across the globe.

All this leads to one point, companies should consider digital innovation as part of their growth strategy to accelerate and become disruptor.

Digital Innovation is the most Powerful Growth Strategy

Digital innovation is not just limited to technology. It is about seeing new avenues of growth by better understanding your company’s objective, customers, brand, product and even staff. Companies that think about innovation have an agile mindset and not get stuck with old ways of doing businesses. They know how to pivot and adapt to the changing market needs to stay relevant in the competitive business landscape.

Amdocs Academy is a prime example of this. It is a personalized suite of tools, which helps Amdocs clientele to upskill their workforce. As a pioneer in the field of telecom software solutions, the company wanted to leverage technology to boost its growth through cross-selling. The company thought about a new business channel for communicating with customers via e-learning medium to expand its business. As a result, the company has successfully built an AI based back-end engine that re-engineers the learning material to fulfill the learning gaps. This way, the company pivoted and achieved business objectives as part of its growth-strategy.

The key takeaway is once a company is flexible enough to see opportunities and remain digitally innovative, will always win the game.

So, how do Businesses Innovate?

Get a better understanding of your business goals, leverage technologies, and tools to improve your business processes and systems. Many large corporations have already setup their in-house team of IT Specialists, Architects, Developers and Marketing Experts to constantly seek new ways of digitization to innovate and thrive. However, this process seems infeasible to small and mid-level companies. Choosing a right technology partner can help them prosper in their digital innovation journey.

At Icreon, we understand changing market conditions and the need to rise again with digitization. That’s why we carve out digital strategies to transform your innovative ideas into winning products or applications. We’ve worked with multiple clients in revamping their legacy models by infusing digital innovation to ensure tremendous success.

Digital Innovation has started to show its impacts not only in how the businesses operate but also at all levels in the organization. Have you started your Digital Innovation journey? Send us a line to make a shift. Explore Icreon's Digital Products Services.