John Hines, AVP, South Asia and India, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, says by utilizing innovation as fuel, the best return on investment comes from a strategic devotion to innovative research, development, and partnership.
The New ROI – Return on Innovation
Innovation will increasingly become a critical discussion area for most Fortune 500 companies. In the next decade or so, enterprises will experience numerous changes in the marketplace that’s going to be unprecedented. The magnitude of these changes will be larger than the kind we’ve seen in the last 100 years. The reason for this is that most companies are dealing with business problems that are not related to product lines or staff, its adaptation or extinction. This could force organizations to re-evaluate their business models month on month, quarter on quarter, year after year in every possible way. This in turn will lead enterprises into looking at innovation and at the idea of creating innovative solutions to counter these changes.
Keeping the Disruptive Edge:
If you look at the environment that we live in today, it’s distinctly different from what we had five or ten years ago. The internet, the amount of data available, everything that’s happening from the connected world is really changing the dynamics of what we do.
To cope with this, organizations need to start looking at opportunities that can truly transform where they are today and where they see themselves going from tomorrow. A good start would be by reevaluating skill sets and looking at talent that’s more leadership-oriented. By identifying talent that’s not just passionate about what they do but can also identify opportunities to move forward and enable business expansion, organizations will automatically be able to differentiate themselves in the market.
In this way, enterprises need to look at their disruption model more holistically. They need to look for what the model is going to be and not what the model is. By doing this and concentrating on core competencies such as security and analytics, they will be able to differentiate innovation from standard R&D product development.
Innovation @ Verizon
At Verizon, we’ve identified markets that are going to be dramatically different in the next 10-15 years. We don’t quite know what they are but we know we need to be able to navigate that change. Therefore Innovation allows us to do that in a very flexible or in a very elastic way and it’s essentially our only tool.
One of the models we have appraised is one of Open Innovation, where we don’t care where an idea comes from, we just want to bring it to market very quickly and rapidly and that’s because of our skill set as well because we can do it better than anyone else in the world.
The Innovation Incubator Group is another initiative that has actually been a formal organization and group for 2.5 to 3 years. For this, we’ve been able to go out and bring in some industry experts, build a real tiger team of thought leadership and people that are connected in the different environments.
We believe in ‘collaborative innovation’ – where new ideas are identified and then developed by leveraging our own resources and expertise. We are actively involved in Mass Challenge, the largest start-up incubator in the world and serve as mentors to applicants that participate. This accelerator program incubates 900 companies and it’s a year-long challenge, a competition for start-ups to win a million dollar prize. This gives us sort of a linkage in the ecosystem of disruption and allows us to make partnerships with a 12 percent company, or, a 2000 percent company, depending on what’s the best of breed and what we can really turn into something special.
A new model: IOI
IOI is our new model which is why we feel we do things so much better than the rest of the 500. We call it Innovating on Innovation. We see this as a unique way to measure markets we go into – the importance of those markets’ long term and the importance of those markets to Verizon.
Through our initiatives, we don’t expect to resolve all of today’s challenges. But we do expect to solve some of them. And by doing so we hope to generate the spark that fuels innovations we can’t even dream of today.