AT#14: The Innovation Steam Train

AT#14: The Innovation Steam Train

AT#14: The Innovation Steam Train

In times of the digital transformation, almost all industries are facing challenges caused by highly accelerated technology innovation cycles and new and disrupting competitors.  Today, companies put a tremendous effort into innovation initiatives. A recent Boston Consulting Group survey reported that nine out of ten senior executives believe generating growth through innovation is essential for success in their industry. Innovation is a trend that runs through all organizations, not just a segregated discipline performed by specialized people only.

These efforts are fueled by the necessity to have more modern digital business capabilities in the organization, in order to stay competitive. Companies must get capable of quickly deploying technology that produces business value. Communities around topics like ‘Open Innovation’ and ‘Design Thinking’ are growing rapidly. The attention to these trendy topics exceeds the attention for Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) by orders of magnitude. In LinkedIn, #Innovation is followed by 35 million people (which is 200 times more than #Enterprise Architecture’s 172 thousand).

This comes to no surprise – who would favor long-winded, excessively expensive, high-risk legacy renovation projects over attending funny design thinking workshops in order to design new AI apps? The thing is: EAM creates a headache and intangible benefits. Innovation methods are fun and create fancy new solutions executives can fathom. Short term thinking always wins against long-term, sustainable thinking. Innovation wins against complexity reduction.

Innovation runs through companies like a steam train.

Architectural sustainability is perceived as it’s brakeman.  

And this means trouble.

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1 comment so far

Mario Pannwitz Posted on 12:29 pm - Oct 25, 2018

The challenge is to manage both the current architecture as well as the innovation and in addition the transition. Every startup can start from scratch, not existing business. Architects need to answer the question how to innovate, try and if not running cancel new activities without harming current existing business and systems. And open ways to leverage existing architecture for innovations. IT was long time innovation driver. Now business takes ownership and challenge IT on innovation. Has IT lost the innovation spirit and is only managing their own processes generating not as expected business value?

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