One of the most interesting research projects I've worked on in the past year was an HBR Analytics Services study sponsored by Red Hat as part of their Enterprisers Project. In it, we divided the universe based on respondents' posture toward IT-driven business innovation — for simplicity's sake, let's call it digital innovation. There were three categories:
Innovation Accelerators: These respondents said that digital innovation is a consciously pursued strategy throughout the organization — it's in their company's DNA.
Ad Hoc Innovators: These companies have pockets of digital innovation, but it is not pervasive or replicated across the whole company.
Low Prioritizers: At these firms, digital innovation is not a priority; they focus elsewhere.
As you'd expect, about half of the respondent base fell into the middle category — basically average. Close to a third (32%) were Innovation Accelerators, while 18% put little focus on innovation.
Some very interesting findings emerged when we used these groupings to analyze the data. In this series of posts, we'll explore how a commitment to innovation accelerates business transformation in many dimensions, and what this means for CIOs and their organizations. In particular, we'll look at the innovation process, the commercialization of IT, and the characteristics of successful CIOs and their departments at Innovation Accelerator companies.
For today, here's a look at the degree to which companies that are committed to digital innovation are transforming all aspects of their business.
As you can see, Innovation Accelerators lead in all, especially in areas with a top-line impact — the top three items outlined by the red box. We'll focus on this top-line impact in the 3rd part of this series.
If you're interested in reading the full report, you can download it from the HBR Analytic Services website — it's called Business Transformation and the CIO Role.