The Problem Behind Rushing to Innovation
By Jeff Kimble July 27, 2017
Nowadays, platforms are introducing new features and technologies faster than companies can take advantage of them. Companies are drawn to these platforms because of their ability to quickly drive business value and their ability to offer several major releases packed with endless new and engaging features. However, this often causes an issue as companies feel pressured to rush innovation. This blog explores some of the reasons behind the problems that impact a company’s ability to maximize their return on IT investment.
Innovation V.S. Adoption
At the risk of oversimplifying, we should define innovation as setting the business’s vision and driving toward an end goal. This big picture sets the cadence and roadmap of the organization for the next few years. When people talk about the art of the possible and digital transformation, they are referring to business transformation by way of innovation. Once set, IT systems become the day-to-day operational enablers to move toward it. We call this adoption—how a company implements a solution to create value out of their platform. In the past, the gap connecting a business’s vision to its end-users existed but was generally accepted as a cost of doing business. That is, until platforms like Salesforce arrived on scene.
Salesforce changed this conversation by innovation through economies of scale. Instead of every customer building the same feature over and over, Salesforce started gathering customer feedback, and then incorporating these features into their frequent product releases. In turn, businesses could spend less time maintaining systems and more time moving them forward, maximizing their business value in a way never-before-seen. However, this creates a few problems that ultimately add up to adoption not keeping pace with innovation:
First, cloud infrastructure and Platform-as-a-Service models like Salesforce suddenly forced the gap between business vision and end-user into the open. Suddenly, two disciplines that once worked exclusively became 100% interdependent. IT found itself as an active contributor in the vision conversation.
Secondly, the speed and scale at which Salesforce can introduce, deploy, and evolve platform features often exceeds an enterprise’s ability to adapt to them. It requires a unique skillset dedicated to understanding all of the widgets and features Salesforce is sunsetting, launching, and evolving to ensure the enterprise is maximizing the value of their IT budget. It also requires industry experience and a clear vision so today’s enterprises can do it in a way that positions them as leaders.
Finally, it forced a conversation around quality over quantity. When systems were local to the business and not on the cloud, infrastructure slowdowns, inefficient system architecture, and technical debt—setting up a solution for completion instead of long-term sustainability—became the byproducts of the tradeoffs made to balance features, speed, and cost. The business had little insight into this and even less concern. Today, it’s paramount since cloud infrastructure doesn’t tolerate these well.
Finding a Solution for These Problems
To get the most value out of systems like Salesforce, companies must properly set and execute a vision in a way that’s tailored to the cloud’s unique qualities and infrastructure. Companies need someone on their team that can navigate and articulate technical complexity, business impact and vision, as well as Salesforce capability to drive and maintain value.
Let’s chat about how the rush to innovation may be impacting your company. To contact us fill out the form below.