- Innovation is not only about new ideas, but to validate them, find which one works and which one doesn’t, as fast as possible
- When it comes to innovation, mortality rate is high. Taking start ups experience, in average 9 in every 10 new start up fail. The question of what is the best idea is an important one to answer.
- Therefore, faster a business can try and validate the new ideas, it becomes better at innovation. Take apps as an example: If a business can try 2 new app ideas every month, in a year, it can try 24 ideas, and stick to 1 or 2 that proved useful. Comparing to building one app every 3 or 6 months. It is called Sustainable Business Innovation
When it comes to try new ideas faster, the first word comes to mind is agility. Nowadays, necessity of being lean, adopting agile methodology and having short iterations are common knowledge, however businesses need the necessary tools to implement it, and it is beyond replacing traditional project management tools with the new generation of team collaboration tools.
One of the areas that is crucial to release the new software, is the infrastructure to support it. Traditionally, IT department has been responsible to create and maintain the servers to run the business applications, from hardware to supporting applications, OS, data services, etc.
In recent years, a series of SaaS services (software-as-a-Service), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has been introduced to the market by the big players: The famous examples are salesforce.com (SaaS, PaaS), Microsoft Azure (PaaS), Google (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), Amazon Web Services (IaaS), and also with some other smaller companies such as RighScale (IaaS),ProofPoint (SaaS, IaaS).
The good news is that, a new generation of services are being introduced that by combining development work and operation (DevOps) on top of existing cloud platforms, they make it even easier to adopt cloud services. The two examples are Pivotal CloudFoundry and AppDirect. CloudFoundry allows to set provision the infrastructure and necessary applications and data services in hours instead of months, and let the teams to deploy and release new versions of their software almost instantly, move from dev or test environment quickly, scale automatically, etc. therefore empowers the agile approach. AppDirect is doing it differently, by automating the process of server provisioning, making some necessary items such as identity management and integration with third party service, etc. as a turn-key solution, therefore allow businesses to offer their new services and ideas to their target market very quickly and validate them.
The above services, allow the teams to dramatically fast track process of creating, deploying and maintaining new software and extend agility beyond development teams.
Understanding the power of cloud and services on top of that, and how adopt them in the process, is not only a task for CTOs anymore, it is a must for any business owner or executive who needs to innovate, introduce new products and services.