Today, technology-led initiatives comprise a significant part of the innovation mix at businesses across numerous industries, not just at companies in the technology sector. These businesses tend to think big, setting their sights on breakthrough innovations that will satisfy unmet needs and create new markets.
While technology is not the be-all and end-all of innovation, its importance is undeniable, particularly for game-changing innovations. Gone are the days when most businesses looked to technology mainly to keep pace with evolving market demands and competitors’ innovations. Instead, with technology-fueled disruption and dislocation now the norm rather than an anomaly, a majority of companies across a variety of sectors depend on technology as a driving source of innovation.
"Three-quarters of our customers are now using a digital channel at some point during their stay, yielding troves of data that lead to further innovation," says George Corbin, senior VP for digital at Marriott International, which does not plan to be disrupted out of business by competitors in the sharing economy.
Businesses pursuing technology-led innovation tend to focus more on breakthrough innovations than on incremental ones, relying on technology to help create markets for novel products and services that don’t yet exist and to meet customers’ anticipated future needs. With so much riding on technology, it’s no wonder that roughly half of companies rate technology partners as their most important innovation collaborators, topped only by employees.
“We push ourselves to always look for something that has not yet been demonstrated.”
Director, Global Lead for Innovation Benchmark, PwC US
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