June 28, 2016 –

Innovation in the digital economy

Author: Emma Yemm
Emma Yemm
Senior Digital Account Manager
Photo by: rawpixel
All businesses today are grappling with the same question: how to innovate in the digital economy? No matter the company, or the sector, everyone is looking for ways in which they can provide faster, improved services – that offer value for money – to their customers. It’s an arms race.

Since the turn of the century, digital design and collaboration tools have completely altered how companies approach innovation.

Before the digital era, the development of products and services were either conducted by an in-house team of experts or they were sub-contracted to specialist vendors.

Today, however, digital design and fabrication tools, social networking communities and collaborative sharing tools have expanded the innovation landscape. This has been marked by new forms of participation, partnership and ownership.

Simply put, greater collective innovation has seen new contributors enter, or establish, new markets. This more collaborative digital environment has provided firms and businesses – big and small alike – more opportunities to be innovative. But also has seen a significant increase in competition.

To make the most of the opportunities provided by this environment, companies are approaching innovation in three main ways – optimisation, expansion and creation – in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Optimisation involves finding new ways to leverage existing services and assets. Expansion sees businesses creating adjacent businesses that are directly related to what they’re already doing. And creation involves bringing a new product or offering to market.

For a long time, digital services and digital innovation has been considered an appendage to business, but such is the demand of today’s digitally empowered consumers, in the majority of cases, it has become essential for business.

The issue for many companies is how to find new ways in which they can engage with, and meet the demands of, today’s modern tech-savvy consumer – without escalating costs. All the while, operating in an ever-expanding (and crowded) marketplace where their competitors are constantly trying to provide their services in more innovative ways, faster, with an offer of better value for money.

Today, standing still is moving backwards. The speed and efficiency of the digital economy is completely changing the way businesses operate. As more and more companies embrace the digital economy, and all that it has to offer, it’s imperative that your business adapts and innovates. Because consistent innovation is the kind of experience that your customers demand, and will come to expect.