Technology innovation is a pivotal catalyst in empowering businesses to navigate the current dynamic landscape, ensuring that they not just endure but flourish amidst uncertain times. There is a diverse range of new and emerging technologies, capabilities and ingenious solutions that are available for organizations to take advantage of and reap the synergies and benefits it bring.
From the vast expanse of the cloud to the domain of metaverse and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), the interconnectedness of the Internet of Things (IoT), the transformative potential of 5G connectivity, the immersive experiences of augmented reality/virtual reality, the decentralized power of edge computing, the soaring potential of drones, the celestial prospects of low-orbit satellites, and the mind-bending capabilities of quantum computing, this landscape abounds with opportunities for growth and innovation.
Moreover, true digital transformation is not a fleeting phenomenon that occurs spontaneously; it requires a deliberate and strategic approach, yet numerous organizations find themselves discouraged by the lengthy timeline associated with reaping the rewards of investments in disruptive technologies.
Organizations can proactively and tactically shape the course of digital disruption by establishing a sturdy groundwork for fostering an enduring culture of innovation through the following guidelines:
1. Establish an ecosystem for fostering innovation.
Innovative enterprises are increasingly setting up specialized teams or Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to drive the exploration of emerging technologies and their potential impact on business strategy, services and products. These forward-thinking organizations actively engage in experimenting with disruptive technologies, uncovering pertinent use cases, piloting solutions, and introducing prototype products and services that demonstrate clear business value. By establishing such dedicated functions, they can accelerate the pace of prototyping, investment, and go-to-market activities, while also enabling more agile course corrections in case an idea fails to gain early market validation. This proactive approach empowers these organizations to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and maximize their competitive advantage.
2. Follow a customer-centric approach.
Adopting a customer-centric perspective when analyzing trends allows organizations to gain valuable insights into the evolving preferences of consumers, both within and beyond their industry. By understanding these shifting customer preferences, businesses can identify the specific technologies that can effectively meet customers' needs and expectations. This approach enables organizations to stay aligned with their target audience, ensuring that they can deliver products and services that resonate with customers wherever they may be. By keeping a close eye on consumer trends, businesses can stay agile and responsive to changing market dynamics, ultimately fostering stronger customer relationships and driving sustainable growth.
3. Lead with strategic vision.
In certain cases, technology leaders tend to innovate based on the tools readily available or influenced by the most recent supplier they engaged with. However, this approach is fundamentally flawed and can lead to significant costs for the business. True innovation requires a deliberate and purposeful mindset, grounded in the desired outcomes that business leaders aim to achieve. Forward-thinking innovators within enterprises should adopt a holistic perspective, carefully considering the unique challenges and opportunities their businesses encounter, both in the present and future. By taking this comprehensive approach, they can proactively identify the desired outcomes before focusing on selecting the most suitable tool from the vast array of emerging technologies. This method ensures that technological solutions are aligned with the business's objectives, ultimately leading to successful innovation endeavors and maximizing the value derived from technological advancements.
4. Empower agile innovation.
Achieving alignment between emerging-technology investments and business strategy necessitates a careful blend of cross-functional expertise, essential capabilities and resources. To translate innovation into tangible outcomes and value, the emerging-technology innovation team must have access to cutting-edge technologies and accelerators. This can be facilitated through direct procurement or by fostering partnerships within academia, business networks and technology providers. Equally vital to this endeavor is the adoption of a modern delivery and operating model that prioritizes experience-centricity, human-centered design and agility. Organizations should embrace lean and fail-fast development approaches, enabling them to swiftly adapt to the rapid pace of change. By embracing these principles, businesses can effectively leverage emerging technologies, drive innovation and position themselves at the forefront of industry advancements.
5. Explore beyond the short-term feasibility horizon.
When evaluating potential innovation investments, organizations typically assess them based on four key criteria: desirability, viability, feasibility and sustainability. Sustainability, in particular, tends to evolve as technologies progress into mass production. Placing excessive emphasis on current feasibility alone can pose a risk, potentially causing the organization to overlook the transformative potential that arises from the convergence of emerging technologies, which can ultimately deliver significant business value. In contrast, prioritizing desirability and viability, which often translate into enhanced customer satisfaction, may be sufficient to justify an initial investment. For instance, if a traditional consumer-products company intends to venture into developing its first smart, connected product, it should first consider whether the technology will differentiate its offerings (desirability) and if it will effectively address customer challenges or provide superior experiences (viability). If both answers are affirmative, the technology is likely worth piloting. By taking a balanced approach and considering all four criteria, organizations can make informed decisions regarding innovation investments, ensuring they prioritize customer needs, maximize business potential and lay the groundwork for sustainable growth.
While it may appear risky at times, making early investments in the appropriate emerging technologies can empower companies to emerge as frontrunners in the market. To achieve this, it is crucial to embark on a journey of experimentation, prototyping and market testing. It's important to recognize that encountering failures along the way should not hinder progress toward successful transformation and market disruption. In today's swiftly evolving landscape, choosing to remain passive is not a viable option. Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to actively participate and seize opportunities, as only through proactive engagement can they navigate the dynamic market environment and position themselves for sustained growth and innovation.
Discover how embracing the digital revolution can position your business at the forefront of industry advancements and drive sustainable growth by joining KPMG in the Philippines’ annual Innovation Summit on 20 July 2023, that champions digital transformation and innovation in the country.
Join us as we bring together game-changers in government, automation, environment, social and governance (ESG) tech, and disruptors in various industries in a venue for us to share stories, perspectives and strategies in digital transformation and innovation. You may use this link to register for the FREE virtual event: https://bit.ly/KPMGInnovationSummit2023_Registration
Gilbert T. Trinchera
KPMG in the Philippines