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Monday, February 2, 2018

Innovation At The Seams

Innovation At The Seams
Innovation At The Seams
by
Kevin L. Jackson & Dez Blanchfield

Innovation At The SeamsToday’s real business innovation is happening at the seams of industries. Moreover, after listening to this podcast between Sanjay Rishi, GM Global Cloud Consulting Services at IBM Global Business Services, and Dez Blanchfield, you will understand why Mr. Rishi describes his primary role as delivering cloud enable innovation and transformation

In this fascinating discussion, Sanjay and Dez talk about how organizations embark on cloud journeys through different entry points, namely by:

  • Developing support and engagement systems for customers, employees, and suppliers;
  • Migrating legacy applications into a cloud computing environment;
  • Leveraging exploding technologies like IoT and blockchain to innovate and transform business; and
  • Delivering business ROI with both speed and innovation.

In pursuing this goal of helping his clients strategize on cloud adoption, he has learned many valuable lessons. One of the most important centers around how enterprise leaders miss the role of organizational communications when transformation begins. The issue is that communications is quickly relegated to an afterthought and doesn’t get the correct amount of attention. In his experience, communications and change management are both essential and serve as the difference between success and failure. Sanjay’s guidance is for leaders not to forget that people’s hearts and minds must change if innovation is to deliver business results.

Another insightful nugget from this podcast is Mr. Rishi’s observation on how the CIO role is shifting from IT to business. This position is less about the back office and technology enablement and more about influencing change within organizations and becoming a catalyst for transformation and innovation. The most significant takeaway here is the need for empathy from the standpoint of understanding what challenges a CIO is going through concerning change and the speed with which change can happen. Transformation creates “haves” and “have-nots” in organizations.  Those pulled into the transformation become the “haves,” and then the masses see themselves as the “have-nots.”


People are hungry for inclusion and to be informed even if they do not participate in influencing an organization’s transformation. In sharing these insights, Sanjay Rishi reinforced his observation that the essence of digital transformation lies in relationship innovation (12:12). He even provided two vivid examples, a European TELCO and a Latin American Bank, to drive home the point. In short, by innovating the organization’s relationship with customers, suppliers, stakeholders, and employees, people can be influenced and effectively led through the investment journey needed to harvest cloud-enabled innovation opportunities.

Organizations must come to grips with the reality of two-speed transformation. The first gear of change is incremental and evolutionary while the second revolutionary and built around disruption.  First gear delivers needed enhancements and improvements to the existing business while the second wards off the threat of disruption from smaller players and start-ups. Business success is not about slowing down the rate of change. It is about balancing these two rates of change. The dependencies between the two are very significant, and embracing both is essential for success

Breaking out his crystal ball, Sanjay ended the exchange by telling everyone that the next big thing is an organization’s ability to sense and understand individual behavior in a way that enables the presentation of consumption choices. This vision seems to represent a doubling down on his earlier statements on relationship innovation. According to Mr. Rishi, this capability expands organizations and accelerates life changes for our benefit. Although individual sensing and anticipation of demand certainly has security challenges, he sees the change as positive in that it makes life much more efficient and allows us to harvest the many associated opportunities.

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.

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