Category

Innovation

Ideas, strategies, and conversations about ways the enterprise can focus on value creation and leverage technology for business success.

 
8 Kinds of Transformational Initiatives in 2015

The 21st Century was introduced by the tumultuous climax of the dot-com boom on March 20, 2000 when the NASDAQ peaked at 5,132. Since then modern corporations marched on to become the majority of the 100 largest organizations in the world (in terms of revenue/budgets and employed people) surpassing the size of many sovereign national governmental organizations. And this phenomenon happened fast. In 1954, the Boeing Corporations became just the 23rd corporation to exceed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. By the end of the 20th century, hundreds of corporations exceeded multi-billion dollars in annual revenue. I rejoined the University of Washington faculty in 2003 to research one of the hotbeds of corporate foundings and …

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There is no doubt that the layering of interactive information over the physical world in real time — aka augmented reality (AR) — has a considerable “wow factor.” Nonetheless, IT decision makers need to take a cold hard look at augmented reality before jumping on this particular bandwagon. There are two key questions that need to be answered. First, can AR applications create real value for your customers, employees, and other stakeholders? Second, can your company overcome the significant challenges facing the relatively young AR community? Over the past few years, the toy manufacturer Lego rolled out interactive augmented reality (AR) kiosks (a monitor and camera) in a number of retail outlets. (You can view one of …

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In my “Cutter Predicts…” post for 2013, I briefly made the point that a picture/image of an asset is merely one form of representing a physical asset. With services like Instagram, The Fancy and Wisemarkit drawing our attention these days, it is natural to think in terms of photos and/or photo streams. However, I contended: The nature of the phenomenon we are examining here is not restricted to photos/images. Rather, it is generic. Regardless of the nature of your company’s assets, any information about them that flows through the “pipes” of your company is potentially a productive asset. It can be utilized (once an API is exposed) through an app store that mines the information …

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From Crowd Sourcing to WorkSourcing™

Crowd sourcing, through various social media sites as well as commercial sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, has become a common form of collectively gathering knowledge. Though forms of professional collaboration, commonly known as concurrent engineering or concurrent collaboration, have been around for years, an emerging trend for both public- and private-sector businesses deviates from that concept in that knowledge is shared across corporate and business unit barriers and into an individual’s personal/professional network and beyond. Blogs and even message boards have been a basis for some of this activity; however more global efforts for specific problem solving approaches are taking place with amazing results. Consider Foldit. Foldit is a website developed to attract individuals …

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The End of Work Creeps a Bit Closer

My prediction for 2013 concerns the end of work for most of us — which may not necessarily be a good thing. Back in 1995, social activist and economist Jeremy Rifkin wrote a controversial book called The End of Work in which he argued that both blue and white collar jobs across the globe were increasingly becoming the private preserve of information technology intensive systems. Rifkin claimed that “software surrogates” were leading to a steady and permanent decline in the number and types of jobs that humans could do better. The inevitable question society soon had to face, he argued, was what actions were urgently needed to deal with the end of work as we understood it.  …

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“Several cracks have appeared in patent systems worldwide,” wrote Claude Baudoin in his Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers on IP, Innovation, and Collaboration. At the heart of the issue, he says, is the argument that the patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners, and that in some domains this is hurting scientific, technical, economic and societal progress. (If you’re curious about some examples of  such partnerships, check out Claude’s recent blog post.) Do you agree that the patent system is crumbling? Disagree? Have you had success — or failure — with IP sharing in cases where you’ve collaborated with a partner? How do you protect sensitive information while jointly innovating? The September 2012 issue of Cutter …

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The argument that the current patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners — hurting scientific, technical, economic, and societal progress — is gaining steam. At the core of this is the swift emergence of, “open innovation,” described by Henry Chesbrough in 2003 [Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press]. In a concise and compelling 2010 paper, Prof. Bronwyn Hall of UC Berkeley and United Nations University in Maastricht, described how the open innovation movement has influenced some large companies, including IBM and Microsoft, to change how they handle the protection and sharing of intellectual property. She concluded by showing that in the leading-edge world of social media, …

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Sep 292011
 
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Innovation is part of the curriculum in just about any Agile engagement I carry out for Cutter. To my way of thinking, the linkage between Agile and innovation is straightforward. Agile enables affordable experimentation. Experimentation begets discovery. Discovery is the first step toward innovation. Just about everyone of my clients responds heartily to this simple-minded derivation, and for a very good reason. Clients crave innovation as it gives them competitive advantage through the life cycle of the product. Hence, enhancing innovation is a very appealing message. I still have to meet a client who would say “well, you know, our problem is too much innovation…” Short-term engagement do not usually give me the opportunity to …

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In September 2010 and in January, I attended two instances of “Stanford Leading Matters,” a roving conference by Stanford University aimed at raising the visibility (and gathering donations) for the “Stanford Challenge,” a decade-long $10 billion fundraiser. This was a rather stellar production, complete with making the meeting hall look like a scale model of the university’s inner quad — sandstone arches and all. At every stop, Stanford University President John Hennessy spoke of the university’s vision, which is no less than helping solve the world’s toughest challenges; incredibly gifted and involved students provided their views in a panel moderated by Hennessy; professors gave lectures on important issues in today’s world; and very good food …

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It has been painful to watch the perennial angst of the CIO community. Each year, each conference, and each industry rag frets about what ails the CIO and what kind of CIO the CIO will need to be in the future. When viewed as a whole, the CIO community is paranoid and schizophrenic. Not only do we hear multiple conflicting voices in our collective heads, we have a sense that the future we created is out to get us. Here at Cutter Consortium, we tackled this issue of the future of the CIO with some thought provoking and wildly different perspectives, ranging from the CIO is dead meat to a new kind of CIO is …

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