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How Innovative Companies Stay Ahead of the Curve

Technology, customer demands, and industries best practices and innovation constantly evolve and change, and companies that fail to keep up with these movements can often find themselves left in the dust. 

As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Therefore the first step toward outdoing the competition could very well lie in understanding customer needs - and then fulfilling those needs in the most creative ways. Market research reports that companies that prioritize innovation are 50% more likely to experience above-average growth.

In this post we share the proven methods that companies can use to stay ahead of the curve with innovation and also the best practices to push your brand to success. 

Businesses and Tech Adoption

Businesses may adopt technological advancements for various reasons, such as scaling their offerings to suit a larger customer base, or to personalize services to boost brand satisfaction. Oftentimes, it is important for company decision-makers to assess their organizational direction before homing in on the right technology to advance their specific objectives.

Of course, it's important for your company to review current tech (i.e., legacy systems) capabilities before introducing new technology. By doing so, you can decide the best business strategy for improving productivity in the most cost-effective manner. 

The benefits of tech adoption include:

  • Unlocking new ways for your team to resolve the gaps in the system and boost current processes.  

  • Reducing cost by minimizing system downtime and maintenance or repair fees. 

  • Seamlessly navigating location-agnostic work arrangements. 

  • Achieving smooth and reliable workflows.

The Tricky Research and Development (R&D) Process

Your company’s tech R&D process should carefully examine the needs of your customers while considering business priorities. The success of tech implementation is closely linked to clear R&D goal-setting. 

You can fine-tune your R&D goals by conducting market research and identifying the tech practices of your closest competitors. According to McKinsey & Co., companies invested $2.3 trillion on their R&D in 2019 alone—valued at roughly 2 percent of global GDP. 

Performing quantitative and qualitative research enables you to recognize the tech gaps that you can fill. An advanced digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform can equip your team with the market data required to drive the best decisions in tech adoption. 

Building a Culture of Innovation (And Why It Matters)

The most intuitive tech cannot achieve wonders without the right mindset. Creating a culture of innovation encourages your team to remain receptive to changes, and constantly driven to improve existing business processes. 

You can foster a spirit of innovation among team members by:

  • Encouraging upskilling initiatives: Providing your team with upskilling opportunities encourages members to go the extra mile in embracing technological tools and techniques. One industry report reveals that half of the CEOs of more advanced organizations agreed that their upskilling programs led to greater innovation and accelerating digital transformation.

  • Making constant and open communication a habit: Teams that stay updated via transparent and unified communication channels can minimize misunderstandings while staying on the same frequency. Essentially, teams that communicate better can improve collective problem-solving with the use of tech.

  • Prioritizing feedback: A culture of innovation should be a two-way street. Collecting and providing constructive feedback among team members opens doors to multiple perspectives and insights on making the most out of an adopted tech solution. 

Boosting Success By Collaborating With Other Innovators

No company wants to reinvent the wheel. It is time-consuming, and ultimately, doesn’t count as innovation. Therefore, it is important to check what has been done by communicating with other innovators in the field. Some effective ways for your brand to stay in the know include:

  • Attending tech seminars and rubbing shoulders with vendors and speakers.

  • Communicating with tech thought leaders via social media.

  • Subscribing to tech news and resources. 

Measuring the Success of Your Innovations

As with any business process, you should gauge the success of your innovations through a measurable approach. Doing so gives you an objective view of your brand’s tech journey and justifies the investments. The metrics of innovation vary according to the type of technology introduced to your business. 

Some general examples of measurable results in tech deployment include:

  • User experience (UX): most tech solutions focus on improving customer satisfaction levels by making processes smoother and less disruptive. You can gain an understanding of UX through customer feedback surveys and polls. You might also include a net promoter score (NPS) field, which indicates how likely a customer would recommend your brand offerings to another person. 

  • Innovation metrics: These include product innovation, innovation ratio, and the degree of innovation. These measurements help you determine if the invested cost has progressed your business goals. Product innovation measures the number of innovation sales on a market, the ratio shows the frequency of innovation compared to your total offerings,  while the degree of innovation indicates the novelty of an idea or concept. 

Innovate to Optimize Business Growth With Fifth & Cor

Innovative companies stay ahead of the curve because they're quick to adopt cost-effective solutions before the competition. Through a trusted and formal innovation process, your team can eventually make technology a foundation of your business's success. The results speak for themselves, with an Accenture report stating that leaders that have doubled down on their tech investments grow five times faster than companies that don't.

Contact Fifth & Cor to discover the most effective tech solutions to keep your company ahead of the curve through the most competitive periods. 

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