The need for innovation across boundaries and the power of big data analytics


I attended a very interesting lunch today hosted by EMC launching a study and report on Information Generation, drawing on a survey of 3,600 executives globally looking at what will drive their business in coming years.

The primary themes of the report were around spotting opportunities, innovation, transparency and trust, personalization, and 24/7 availability, and the implications for business.

One of the interesting insights from the study was on what executives believe their organizations can best do to foster innovation.

Source: EMC Information Generation

Top of the list was increasing co-operation between departments, recognizing the imperative of innovation across boundaries.

Fourth on the list was empowering staff to see a bigger picture, which is a pre-requisite for understanding the context that enables relevant innovation.

Another question looked at the major technologies that will impact how their organizations function over the next 5-10 years.

Source: EMC Information Generation

Big data analytics was probably rightly at the top of the list in terms of potential, though it is probably only a minority of companies that will truly tap that potential.

Automation will, in many industries, indeed substantially change the nature of work and the roles of employees.

I am not convinced that all of the executives’ responses represent an accurate reflection of the challenges and opportunities. For example getting employees to come up with more ideas will not drive the success of many organizations.

However the top responses to these two key questions absolutely point to fundamentally important issues that will drive the success of most large businesses in coming years.