No matter what innovations your organization has decided to pursue, and regardless of the innovation strategy you’re following, there will always come a point where innovators need to deal with their information technology cousins.
Technology is at the center of most production and productivity in many industries, from those dominated by industrial age economics to the emerging innovation economy companies that are presently leading the charge to recovery.
As a result, information technology can be considered either a necessary evil that prevents things getting done or, alternatively, a massive enabler of competitive advantage and worker productivity. Perspectives vary depending on the way an IT organization deals with change on a day to day basis.
No matter the perception of the information technology group, there is a key thing that those responsible for innovation will find very hard to avoid: the extreme emphasis that most IT professionals place on minimizing change. There are excellent reasons they do this, though it presents significant difficulties for innovators, whose whole role is to create valuable, productive change.
In information technology organizations, there will likely be change teams, in fact, whose sole role in life is to make it as hard as possible to change anything. They will rationalize their existence using lines such as “we are here to protect service” or “up-time is our number one priority”. And for those times when change is impossible to avoid there will be a number of gates and governance processes in places designed to make things as difficult as possible. At least, from the perspective of innovators, that is.
For most innovation teams, rigorous focus on the disciplines of innovation management are a positive way to manage the technologists in organizations. They provide tools and processes which are able to demonstrate to IT professionals that the changes the innovators want to do are in both the interests of the organization, and, more often than not, in the interests of IT as well.