Embracing disruptive innovation when you don’t have an accelerator

Earlier this month a report by KPMG garnered a lot of attention, highlighting that 61% of UK CEOs rely on a network of third parties to deliver innovation into their organisations and identify disruptive threat.

How they plan to do this varies, but the two top strategies were partnering with cloud technology companies, such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Workday and IBM, closely followed by collaborating with innovative start-ups.

For many organisations, this means changing the way they do business, adopting new working practices and taking some sort of risk. So is it worth it, why now?

Technology is fuelling the technology explosion

Historically, companies that weren’t at the ‘bleeding edge’ enjoyed a grace period as the new technology matured, allowing time to catch up with the early adopters.

Today, however, we see technical innovation fuel technical innovation creating an environment with no let-up, no time to catch-up. An environment in which technically-savvy corporations can take leadership, leaving others to defend marketshare against disruptive threats or scramble to react to the changing market demands.

“The explosion of new technologies, which has impacted customer behaviours, has changed the landscape for businesses looking for growth.  As a result, CEOs are having to turn to new strategies to increase the agility of their often large and multilayered businesses. We are seeing more collaborations between large corporates and small businesses as they attempt to outpace their competition in the race for innovation to results.” Kirsty Mitchell, Director of Growth, KPMG

Technology confluence, an example

Since the inception of 2G mobile phone service, machines have been able to talk to machines using a technique known as machine-to-machine, or M2M for short. This enabled remote vending machines to send an alert when they need a service, or for heavy plant equipment to send an alarm if it was tampered with or stollen.

Today we hear that in 2018 we will have 31 billion connected devices, in what’s known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. This eye-watering number includes consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial applications and transportation. Whilst technically feasible, much of it wouldn’t be commercially viable without the recent confluence of other innovations in Cloud, Mobile Connectivity, and Artificial Intelligence technologies.

To gain a better perspective and awareness of the evolving technological landscape, many organisations are setting their sites on getting closer to start-ups. The report suggests that 55% of UK CEOs are investing in incubators and accelerators as a way to achieve this.

Clearly, not all corporations can afford this type of investment and many that can, ultimately find troubles understanding how to act on the insights gained. Additionally, companies can find it difficult to aligning start-up culture with their own. Despite this, the report showed that 51% of UK CEOs were looking to increase investment into disruption detection and their internal innovation process.

This is a trend our Innovation Scouts have been carefully following, and it seems to be creating a wider gap between those that do and those that do not, so how can we help?

Bridging the widening chasm

As technology continues to both, rapidly evolve customer expectations and lower the barriers to entry for new entrants, it has never been more important for a business to proactively seek out the unknown-unknowns and to forge partnerships with entities that can help deliver targeted innovations.

Our mission at InnovationScouts.tech is to help do just that. We work with enterprises to understand their business challenges, large and small, then go to our network of start-ups, scale-ups and established technology companies (or as we call them, Innovators) looking for specific solutions, or disruptive threats.

If you’re looking for help understanding your disruptive threat horizon, or to solve specific innovation challenges, do let us know.

Scott Stonham

Scott is Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at InnovationScouts.tech. He has been at the forefront of many technologies we take for granted today, including mobile internet and smartphone navigation. Today he helps clients navigate innovative emerging technologies and is available for speaking opportunities.

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