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Nitin kamal & venus katela Nitin kamal & venus katela Document Transcript

  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd The Title : Innovate and manage innovations – Need of the hour for survival in current economic scenario Author : Nitin Kamal and Venus Katela Abstract: For any business whether big or small, the prime motive is to capture market and reap profits irrespective of how eventful the economic situation is owing to the dependence on business cycles. Due to technological breakthroughs in nearly every existing man-made utility, service or product, the yearning to survive and grow is a predominant thought that is present in every CxO’s leadership team. To create a new path to capture consumer’s mind and business markets and to develop a sense of innovativeness among employees, companies need to continuously strive to innovate and create an eco- system to manage innovations. Following the usual worn-out path to create product and services is the thing of past and won’t help an organization to compete at global as well as at micro levels in the current scenarios. Major challenges faced by an organization are identifying areas of innovation, identifying markets for corresponding innovations, allocating resources for innovation creation and managing the innovation lifecycle. Delay in analyzing and implementing one or more areas in the above mentioned challenges raises the stakes of losing the competitive edge for a company. Therefore, the drive to create an ecosystem for non-linear growth strategy through identification and management of innovations is paramount for all the organizations competing at global scale. This paper highlights the key drivers and thought processes to achieve non-linear growth by following a strategic and coherent approach towards driving and managing innovations through a mix of strategy, process and technology. Keywords: Innovation Management, Strategy, Competitiveness, Culture, Growth.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Introduction: Before any one whether an individual or a corporate conglomerate thinks about innovation, they should be first explained as what is meant by innovation. Innovation is not just inventing something new in terms of technology or process but it’s an optimized use of existing technology/process for attaining or experiencing the ideal outcome in a new scenario that is expected out of it. Any change in process or technology which can bring out technical advancement can be termed as innovation. When the meaning of “innovation” is spread and defined at individual or corporate level, then only individual minds would start thinking of their work as innovation and contribute wholesomely and fruitfully towards it. For example, using a washing machine for churning out “Butter-milk” or “Lassi” is simplest way of explaining what innovation is. There is no radical change in technology component. Just that process of producing the beverage is optimized to cater for large volumes. In current economic scenario, this is the major lever that is required to be leveraged across organizations and corporate premises for promoting the message and there is no greater promotion than the “individual promoting his thoughts or work”. So, if you are able to convince an individual to think from a different perspective, half a battle is won. Key Challenges Before we proceed on how to manage innovations, let’s go through the challenges and constraints that inhibit the innovation culture in an organization. Challenge 1 - The biggest challenge that lies in front of corporate or non-profit organizations is to convince their employees/associates that no idea is small or irrelevant. Every brainwave has a potential to become the next-gen solution. Challenge 2 - Next in line challenge is “Leader’s will” to drive innovation culture. Every company/organization has their own Soft Barriers and Hard Barriers. Soft Barriers are the barriers which are related to as how the leadership team (decision makers) actually thinks about and respond to the idea of innovation. Hard Barriers are related to issues pertaining to an organization’s structure, capabilities and resources. The point to understand is that hard barriers are easier to overcome but the challenge remains with removing or working around soft barriers. If the leadership is not convinced about the value to invest in innovation, then no matter how bright ideas are being presented, nothing will materialize as driving and managing innovation at corporate lever requires investment and time which requires high level approvals.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Challenge 3 - Over Innovation In total contrast to the above mentioned challenges, over-innovation is zeal practiced by innovators to over-innovate existing technologies to serve a utopian scenario. The problem with this approach is that it nullifies the basic need for which the innovation was thought upon. There is a thin line between innovation and over innovation and effort needs to be managed properly and tracked so that one should not get overboard while maintaining the sanctity of innovativeness for a particular product or concept. Challenge 4 - Long Innovation lifecycle This is a very usual scenario and poses a significant challenge to those who are involved in innovation lifecycle. The significant time lags associated with conceptualizing, reviewing, approving, sponsoring and promoting an innovative concept can take away the edge from the product and lead to companies lagging in competitive race. Challenge 5 – Imitation As per Harvard study, 97.8% of value of innovation goes to imitation. The point is that it’s good to innovate but equally important is to save that innovation from piracy which is difficult to prevent but still manageable. For e.g. White Castle was the USA’s first fast food chain which introduced burgers to American market in 1921. However, the famous McDonalds who opened shop much later in 1940 and took cues from White Castle and today as we all know, what is McDonalds but not many have heard of White Castle. SPT model – Strategy, Process and Technology Now, as challenges have been discussed, we need to transcend towards on how to streamline the innovation lifecycle by using 3 steps SPT framework involving Strategy, Process and Technology. STEP 1 – STRATEGY In today economic scenario, its becomes paramount that organizations need to devise strategies to remain in the competition and maintain an edge over each other. The plain-vanilla style of creating products and services won’t be of much help as individuals and organizations are getting increasingly tech-savvy and prudish towards technology and innovation. Therefore, for an organization to embark on an innovation journey and stay competitive in current economic scenario, the first and foremost action item to be worked upon by the organization is to do a well defined and elaborate Due-Diligence(DD) on their existing resources vis-à-vis People, Organizational Culture, Maturity level, Technology penetration and Infrastructure.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Additionally, in addition to DD activity done, the organization in parallel should focus on doing a non- biased and comprehensive SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) and based on the weighted metrics for all the above mentioned pointers, organization can help itself in analyzing and evaluating about their IR (Innovation Reality) i.e. where they are currently in innovation lifecycle (AS-IS) and decide where they want to go (TO-BE). As per stats collected from various organizations, it’s a well known fact that in majority of the cases, the lack of innovation is attributed primarily to following. 1. People The major reasons collated for this aspect is because people: 1. Are conservative in sharing their thoughts and knowledge 2. Do not understand the meaning of innovation 3. Think their idea is not fit or big enough to classified as an innovation i.e. lack of confidence 4. Averse to think beyond their comfort zone 5. Are not convinced about the benefits and exposure of an innovative product 6. Are not sure on ROI (Return on Investment) that can be accrued from a innovation product lifecycle 2. Culture Culture plays another crucial role in enabling and driving innovativeness momentum in any organization. Majorly, the culture of an organization is tightly tied to an organization’s market standing, the markets it cater to and geography its based out of. In most of the cases, the Innovation culture barometer of an organization can be at high or low scale due to following reasons 1. Resistance of Human Resources i.e. employees in sharing knowledge due to which flow of information is restricted 2. Extent and breadth of collaboration among employees is limited to their proximity and personal relationships 3. Knowledge hoarding and re-inventing the wheel is the normal attitude of the employees 4. Organization leadership is following a strict hierarchical protocol inhibiting free flow of communication between employees and their supervisors thus obstructing innovation thought waves The cultural aspect and extent of rigidness in the cultural parameters can be effectively diagnosed during the DD and SWOT analysis phase.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd 3. Organizational Role Allocation At position three, in terms of priority, comes an organization’s openness to allocate proper role and authority to its employees for promoting and driving innovation. Most of the time, an organization: 1. Does not have defined roles for spreading and managing Innovation propaganda 2. Have only informal Innovation leads in their business units with no direct performance measures and power to take decisions whether operational or financial. 3. Defines roles and associated responsibilities on need basis, which are not part of organization’s formal structure. The seriousness of an organization in driving and encouraging innovation cannot be adjudged unless proper role allocation is done along with transparency and freedom to take strategic decisions. 4. Infrastructure The last but not the least, Infrastructure surely plays a supporter role for inculcating and sustaining the innovation culture in an organization. Of course, the brainwave for an innovative idea is paramount but the supporting infrastructure is equally important to transform the idea into a reality. Major issues with organizations striving to bring in innovation culture in their eco-systems are mentioned as follows: 1. Little or no dedicated infrastructure for developing and supporting innovation practices 2. Very little resources and funding provided for sustaining and developing the existing innovation labs So, for an organization to strive well in terms of innovation, it has to unilaterally invest in its infrastructure where minds can mingle free and bring brainwaves to reality. A good example will be that of Adobe corporation, who recently opened their state of art office complex in Lehi, Utah(USA) which has 85% of office space dedicated to outdoor activities thus promoting collaboration by making its employees meet each other randomly and more frequently. Only 15% of its space is used for cubicles. This concept has been well-received and after 6 months of its operations, there has been marked increase in incubation of new and innovative ideas. The bottom-line for innovation is that you need to collaborate and collaboration won’t happen if people are not allowed to freely meet and greet and exchange their ideas.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd So, by understanding the above challenges and constraints, an organization has to decide on its strategy which should be both stable and agile with changing economic scenarios and business cycles. Depicted below is the strategy followed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for creating an ecosystem which is driving and propagating the Innovation lifecycle and helping the disparate entities to form a “Symbiotic Innovation Ecosystem” which is both fostering and promoting innovation lifecycle using collaboration as one of its pillars. TCS Co-Invention Network or COIN TM is the brainchild of TCS innovation labs which have continuously strived for evolving new standards of technology, business and domain innovations. COIN TM is anchored at TCS Innovation Labs and encompasses entities such as Academic Institutions, Start-up companies, Venture Capitalists, Multi-lateral organizations, and Key clients to bring forth true synergies. COIN TM involves forming an association between the above mentioned entities to: 1. Leverage shared synergies of internal and external expertise 2. Provide Ecosystem perspective to innovation 3. Encourage channelized approach to innovation
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Following is the pictorial representation of COIN TM framework Fig-1 : COIN TM Framework (Source : http://www.tcs.com) Advantages of following TCS COIN TM Strategy 1. Faster time-to-value: Working with TCS ecosystem partners, customers/idea incubators/thought leaders can rapidly derive value from an emerging technology 2. Faster time-to-market: Tech-intensive customers can constantly refresh their product and service portfolio or launch non-stop exciting new products by continually/rapidly incorporating into them the latest technologies available in TCS COIN TM 3. Market responsiveness: TCS customers can more rapidly react to changing customer needs or competitive threats by tapping into COIN TM capabilities 4. Cost effectiveness: TCS customers can save loads of money by avoiding the need to reinvent the wheel and source readily-available innovation capabilities in TCS COIN TM
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd 5. Strategic differentiation: Working with TCS COIN TM under shared risk/reward model, a TCS client can co-develop a transformational innovation (disruptive product or cutting-edge business model) that confers them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 6. Risk Mitigation: Any partner collaboration undergoes rigorous process of financial, market and technical diligence to identify and mitigate any potential risks in the joint solution However, no matter the strategy followed by an organization, the key points to focus upon while working on creating and promoting innovation ecosystem are: 1. Research and Development (R&D) activities and innovation cannot happen in isolation 2. Markets need to be identified in advance following by extensive market research for innovation to be propagated and sold to derive the RoI (Return on Investment) which is the key ingredient in business process lifecycle 3. Thoughts on how to make people think differently and channelizing their thoughts towards innovation 4. Focus on how innovation products can be sold differently The above mentioned pointers are the key fundamentals where-in companies and organizations involved in innovation need to put their thinking hats on and help themselves in bringing about the change. As someone rightly quoted “Do not change with change, change before change”, this should be the mantra to derive benefits from creating and managing innovations in current economic scenario. STEP 2 – Process Process is the second step in SPT framework which some sections of people can argue upon by stating that “innovation cannot be subjected to process definition”) Well, it’s a fact that one cannot formalize innovation, but in order to incubate, collate and bring an innovation into reality, a formal structure and process is required so as to streamline the various flows and shorten the innovation lifecycle time-period as depicted below.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Fig-3 : Innovation Ecosytem Workflow Source : (www.tcs.com COINTM ) As shown in the above figure, formulating the Process is the second key focus area in an innovation lifecycle. The key activities mentioned in an innovation workflow are: 1. Idea Collation and Filtering This process activity has much significance as at this stage, the ideas sourced through a network of individuals, startups, academic institutions are collated and then subjected to evaluation by core community group comprising of SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) and thought Leaders. The filtered ideas are then passed on to the next activity in the workflow for further screening. 2. Due – Diligence As mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, making an innovation is good but finding a market for promoting and selling the innovative product is of paramount importance. Therefore, identifying and segregating ideas based on their business, technological and market weight-age is highly recommended as mentioned below: a. Business Fitment Business fitment is a key driver for any proceeds to succeed, therefore identifying and tagging the innovation idea to the right business area is very crucial. Never try to juxtapose an idea into a business domain area just for sake of doing. This can have drastic effects on the further innovation lifecycle.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd b. Technology Fitment An idea is as good as the technology or technical compatibility or fitment associated with it. The fitment analysis for product-technology mapping has to be carried out with seasoned technology and partner solution managers so as to avoid any oversight. Additionally, innovations need to be sub-categorized into i. Breakthrough innovation ii. Platform innovation iii. Derivative innovation c. Market Fitment Of course, for any product to be successful, it has to be targeted in right market and for right demographic group. Before any organization decides to diversify and expand its business horizons or launch a new product in new market/existing market, it’s advised to use analysis tools like Ansoff Matrix which is a marketing tool that focuses on current and potential markets/products in order to formulate corporate growth strategies. Additionally, if an organization is planning to analyze its business or product lines, the tool most commonly used is BCG Matrix which was created by Bruce Henderson of Boston Consulting Group(BCG). As per the BCG matrix, there are four major groups under which products/services lines can be segregated, as following: a) BCG Stars: This group is associated with products/services lines which are having high growth and high market share. b) BCG Question Marks: This group is associated with new products lines having a potential for high growth but low market share. c) BCG Cash Cows: BCG Cash cows are those products /services lines which are associated with high market shares but low growth. This group does not requires fund intake and can sustain itself on its own and owners of this group can derive high profits from it. These are the golden eggs in an organization’s armory. d) BCG Dogs:
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd BCG Dogs is the category associated with products/service lines associated with low market share and subsequent low growth. An organization should get rid of its products which are associated with this category. After analyzing, the inventory of its products using Ansoff and BCG matrix, an organization can formulate its strategy to identify markets for their innovative products and the corresponding target audience (consumers) Additionally, Market research needs to be carried out to find the consumer sentiment for any particular product idea to weigh the pros and cons for launching a particular product innovation in a particular geography/demographic group. 3. Product Development and Licensing model Once the final set of innovative ideas are chosen, the next step is to channelize funding and resources on the product design and development. During the typical product lifecycle, parallel market research activity should be incorporated to get the real ground-level feedback so as to add or remove any features and bring an optimum product to the market. For an organization, which is trying to build an innovation ecosystem like TCS COIN TM , during this stage, its required to analyze whether the start-up’s offering is ready for joint IP development/fit for recommendation to customer. The necessary legalese for a formal partnership is drawn up and Pre- sales, Sales, marketing and delivery activities begin for the offering. During this phase, further emphasis should be given on chalking out the formalities on type of licensing model , the individual organization has to use in accordance with its partner groups like VC’s, academic institutes, startup companies to avoid future litigation and lawsuits. The range of licensing model varies from Bayh-Dole Act which states that Right to Ownership remains with the Academic institutes while Right for commercial exploitation remains with the sponsoring company/companies. With startups, a non-exclusive license model can be worked out which allows the ownership to remain with the organization partnering with the startup companies. All these models can help the innovation ecosystem to maintain a healthy relationship with each other and help in gaining more market value and RoI along with balanced profit-sharing with sustained momentum and to offset any curious wilderness from the participating partners. 4. Innovation Protection The need to protect an innovation has much more priority than conceptualizing the innovation itself. As soon, as the idea is conceptualized and filtered to be innovation-ready as per the various checklists and measures leveraged by the intending organization, the idea should be filed for copyright protection or Patent filing.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Any delay in this activity can result in incubating firm loosing the idea concept to a rival company/organization which can lead to huge cost in terms of time and money with series of litigations and counter litigations. Corporate world has seen many such instances of epic proportions like Coke – Pepsi war along with Apple-Samsung (most recent ones) 5. Branding and Sales Branding, which involved marketing as well, is the final weapon which a product organization should use very effectively to generate consumer interest and to provide momentum to the products sales. Branding has direct impact on the product’s end lifecycle as it leads to: a. Creates business credibility b. Connects the customer to the product c. Motivates the buyer d. Differentiates the product from the competition In addition to branding, in an innovation lifecycle, the net sales on a finished product can be attained through Direct Sales, Retails Sales, and International sales and by Social networking enabled sales. The innovator whether an individual or a startup or an innovation ecosystem like TCS COIN TM can get the percentage share from the net sales based on the profit sharing model defined and signed as mentioned in the previous modules. 5. Rewards and Recognition In addition to the above mentioned activities, an organization involved in innovation lifecycle should pro-actively recognize and award its employees who are involved in any stage of innovation lifecycle. It’s a globally accepted fact that every employee no matter how senior or junior, each need a pat on the back. Additionally, such rewards and recognition at enterprise level would foster a sense of competitiveness and enable employees to proactively think about bringing innovation in their work and ideas.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd STEP 3 – Technology The step 3 of SPT process is technology. For any large organization it becomes prudent to have an in- house Idea Management System (IMS) or Patent Management System (PMS) to : 1. Help innovators seamlessly file their ideas 2. Allow in-house Patent Management Group (PMG) to filter and evaluate the ideas 3. Promote the ideas for financial and operational sponsorship upon selection The automated workflow based IMS or PMS will ensure each stakeholder starting from innovator till legal approver has transparent view of their idea status and related activities being performed at each workflow step. From a company’s operational perspective, the automated IMS/PMS ensures that company leadership is able to track and monitor the number of ideas submitted , products designed and manufactured, along with associated sales, and post sales metrics thus ensuring seamless reporting and tracking. For instance, TCS uses an in-house PMS (Patent Management System) to ensure that prospective innovators are able to login into PMS and record their idea concept which undergoes a workflow process and depending upon the various toll-gates, the idea can reach the legal cell for patent filing in patent office of respective country in which one wish to file. This system can be accessed by employees across the world and system automatically assigns reviewer based upon the business unit and geography, an employee belongs to. Conclusion: For any innovation ecosystem to flourish collaboration is the key pillar. Along with that freedom in thought process and clearly defined SPT (Strategy, Process, Technology) framework will ensure that ideas are sourced, filtered, evaluated and materialized. Furthermore, in any innovation ecosystem people is the key which needs to be educated, motivated and encouraged to enable and promote innovation in any organization. TCS has proved this by using COIN TM framework and by using cues similar to SPT framework. TCS has significantly increased the number of ideas incubated and patents filed in last 2 years which in itself is a case-study to ponder and base the innovation ecosystem upon. Thus, by following a systematic, open and strategic path, organizations can surely strive to maintain an innovation edge over their competitors in current economic scenario.
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Acknowledgements We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Anupam Singhal (TCS Vice President), Mr. Deepak Srivasthava (TCS Senior Consultant), Mr. Amol Khanapurkar (TCS Innovation Lab), Mr. Himanshu Mehta (TCS IPR Group) and Ms. Apoorva Sharma (TCS IPR Group) for providing their overwhelming support and guidance in completion of this white paper. References A) TCS COIN TM : 1. www.tcs.com 2. http://www.tcs.com/about/tcs_difference/innovation/network/Pages/default.aspx B) Ansoff Matrix 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diversification_(marketing_strategy) C) BCG Matrix 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth-share_matrix D) Harvard Business Review 1. www.hbr.org
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Author Profile: Nitin Kamal Nitin Kamal is a Solution Architect and Business Development Manager associated with Tata Consultancy Services since 2004 and has overall 9 years of IT experience. He has primarily worked in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Cloud, Big Data/Analytics and mobility solution consulting along with business case and strategy development. He has wide exposure to working in various geographies across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and has architected solutions for major Fortune 500 clients, and along with that has authored multiple whitepapers based on technology and process. Additionally, he is the co-inventor for product design concept which has been filed in India, EU Zone ,US and Singapore Name of Organization : Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
  • *COIN or CO-Innovation Network are trademarks of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd Venus Katela Venus Katela is a Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Architect with 8 years of Industry experience and associated with Tata Consultancy Services since 2005. She has primarily worked in Investment and Insurance Domain on the various tools such as Informatica, SAP Business Objects, Microsoft SSIS/SSRS, Pentaho etc. She has authored a couple of papers in TCS Architects conference and has a patent filing in progress on one of her technology concept designs. Name of Organization: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd