Technology is not innovative. That probably sounds bizarre coming from a software company that boasts leading-edge technology, but bear with me.
We believe it is people who are innovative. There is no doubt we have ground-breaking technology, but that is because it has been designed and developed by great people with great minds. They are the innovators, the technology is a result of their vision.
We all have this amazing thing called a brain and from that we derive our creativity. This is at the root of our problem-solving abilities. Creativity is what we use when we are presented with challenges that need new solutions. Problem solving is at the core of innovation. Problems are what inspire innovators to look for answers. Problems often surface as fundamental business issues, loss of market share; decline in profitability, unhappy customers… It is the creativity of individuals – people – that solves these problems, technology is there to support them.
Computers, of themselves, cannot think laterally. Without extensive programming, they cannot go back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking, making errors, and deciding on the best, most useful response, given a particular situation. This type of thinking is the strength of human beings.
Creativity can be seen as an ability (and readiness) to make mistakes when looking for solutions. This is where technology can help. The right technology can be used to model potential solutions quickly and effectively, enabling humans to recognise what works and what doesn’t. The best technology is flexible enough to support the most unconventional thinking.
In the journey of innovation, the ideas – whether incremental or radical – are just the beginning. They need to be moved from discovery to impact on the business. Unless an idea for a product, service or business model is carried through to the customer, it will never deliver any value. Successful innovation is a perfect marriage between the creativity of the best people and the flexibility of the best technology.