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Digital transformation requires a culture of innovation

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guest opinion Ram Chakravarti, chief technology officer at BMC Software, said: Few items rank higher on executive agendas than building a more innovative culture within an organization. Innovation enables agility and flexibility to navigate uncertain times as well as adapt to new market conditions.

Today’s businesses demand more innovation than ever before.

Recent research suggests that businesses have significantly increased the pace of digital transformation during the pandemic. Those deemed “Best in Class” in 2018 are slower than last year’s average, and companies with the best technology capabilities, talent, leadership, and resources are operating at an exponential pace.

Reliance on hybrid home and in-office workplaces is forcing organizations to rethink their IT infrastructure, find ways to apply artificial intelligence and enterprise automation, and keep employees focused on what matters: innovation and superior customer experience. I now have the time to do so.

These are just some of the ways companies have adapted in rapidly changing times. Over the past two years, there have been big changes in how people work, shop and spend their leisure time. Companies have adapted their technology and practices to meet this change. Some companies have added more e-commerce and hybrid work solutions to their technology stacks, while also deploying IoT devices and edge computing platforms to generate more data than ever before. These data can be analyzed to further enhance stakeholder value.

Companies that have successfully undergone digital transformation have one thing in common: a culture of innovation.

Tug of war, budget constraints, lack of vision, and inadequate management support can all stifle cultural change. The obstacles to cultural innovation are many, and there is a big difference between companies that want to build a culture of innovation and those that do.

Building an innovative culture?

Encourage employees to try new things and celebrate successes and failures immediately. Recognizing that it is okay to fail at first, we encourage employees to try out their ideas and use failure as an opportunity to learn. I know there is no better way to help employees find meaning and value in their work than by empowering them to solve problems.

At BMC, we are focused on building a culture of innovation within our company and across our ecosystem. We recently held our first annual Innovation Summit to explore the requirements for establishing a culture of innovation and the benefits to be gained from those efforts. It includes some exciting demos of products in development, inspired and influenced by our customers and partners.we Innovation Labs Preferred Partner Program, We are focused on exactly this kind of vision and experimentation, with the goal of designing and commercializing the latest technology solutions to support our customers on their Autonomous Digital Enterprise journeys.

Organizations can do this by implementing a dedicated internal entrepreneurship program that encourages all employees to contribute ideas without fear. Whether it’s a product or a company’s typical non-business concept, ready for review at any time, setting the precedent that anyone can shape the next generation of cutting-edge business his technology.

Within my own team, I have put these ideas into action. New hires spend about 75% of their time on new product and brand building projects. The remaining 25% is spent learning new technologies and exploring business problems that disruptive technologies can solve. For certain high-demand roles, such as data scientists and engineers, we’re hiring 150% of capacity to ensure everyone has time to focus on innovation.

There is also a portal for employees to bring their ideas. Regular campaigns and ideathons also energize those who don’t want to use the portal themselves. These procedures have proven beneficial for idea generation and employee morale.

But how does an organization know that it has built a culture of innovation? This brings me to measurement. But not how we traditionally measure success. Rather, we need to rethink measurement in relation to innovation approaches.

measuring success

If your company’s goal is to build a culture of innovation that drives digital transformation, you need to measure two things. The first is the somewhat awkward notion of culture. The second is digital innovation itself.

On the cultural side, traditional cultural metrics track things like turnover and employee sentiment through surveys and social media analytics, but there are also qualitative metrics. It relies on the ‘Innovation Index’ survey, which measures in six dimensions. These assessments are often qualitative and highlight the extent to which soft variables are very difficult to measure. There are also several quantitative innovation metrics, such as R&D to product conversions and the degree to which new products contribute to revenue.

But innovation and culture influence each other. Allowing employees to tap into their creativity can greatly improve job satisfaction. The result is a more caring and collaborative business environment, able to focus on the collective value between human innovation and automated processes.

The ultimate proof of building an innovative culture is adapting or incorporating the fail fast program ideas into new or revised products. Good ideas can come from anywhere, but often they come from previous projects that have never been successful. Success is when these ideas and programs begin to bear fruit through personal collaborations and ideas that help shape the future.

Bottom line: Innovation begins when you unleash your workforce’s creativity and passion, giving them the tools to navigate change, harness analytics, and build agility into your business. Building an innovative culture means innovation is never-ending.