Gartner’s 2016 CIO Survey revealed five key innovation practices that deliver the highest improvement in digital performance. Interestingly, CIOs also indicated that these five practices were the least used.
1. Cloud sourcing – Source a task or challenge to a broad set of contributors via social collaboration. But it is a different way of working. One needs a meaningful problem to solve, willing community and a platform for interaction, as per Gartner.
2. Differentiated funding – Shift from ROI-based funding analysis to more flexible investment portfolios for digital innovations, such as three-tired model for fear-fact-faith- based investments. But these require funding innovation which needs a mindset that encourages disciplined experimentation with a portfolio approach, as per the Gartner CIO survey.
3. Differentiated metrics – Create measures of value and performance that calculate innovation, speed and agility, not just financial ROI. It needs to get executive sponsorship to explore new, possibly risky areas that are important to the enterprise and determining the ROI for innovation projects, as per the survey.
4. Working with start-ups – Stimulate innovation and fill technology gaps by partnering with smaller companies startups, incubators and universities. At the same time, it is hard to break out of the comfort zone with large, traditional vendors and it is hard for smaller vendors to work with the lengthy purchasing and legal processes, according to Gartner.
5. Formal innovation management – Build a business discipline that drives repeatable and productive innovation practices. Again, it is hard to gain traction with innovation when the organization focuses on risk and daily operations, suggests Gartner.