Technological innovation is all around us. It’s in the phones in our pockets, the computers on our desks and the mobile apps we use every day. Before long, the internet of things will bring connected technologies to every aspect of our homes, and wearable tech will literally surround us with sensors, UIs and contextual information to improve our lives. It’s a very exciting time to be a technology enthusiast and professional.
Every company, regardless of industry, wants to be considered innovative. However, with so many companies pursuing the same goal, only those who make intelligent decisions about how and why to innovate will see long-term success. For example, features like faster processors, higher screen resolutions and better cameras don’t drive adoption the way that they used to. As society has become collectively more tech savvy, the conversation has shifted to the experiences that our hardware and software can create and the types of tangible benefits that innovation can bring. The companies that realize that fact and steer their innovation towards the user experience will see higher sales, growth and customer loyalty.
Innovation is and will continue to be vital to business success. But for technology companies in particular, it’s important to leverage your resources in an intelligent way to ensure results.
Context is the new King
The reason why companies like Facebook and Google have done so well with the innovations that they constantly bring to their products is that they’re presenting their users (you, me and practically everyone else) with information that’s relevant to them at relevant times. The level of connectivity we all have in today’s culture has made context the new king; companies know where we are, who we are, and what we like, and tailor their offerings accordingly. Leveraging the availability of contextual intelligence will be key for all companies moving forward. While there are obvious privacy concerns to navigate, the bottom line is that companies who intelligently bring context to bear will be more engaged with consumers than those who don’t.
When we develop tools like iMeet®, GlobalMeet® or our mobile apps here at PGi, we have a saying we like to use: the concept of being in a user’s “inertia.” In other words, we’re not trying to build tools that draw someone out of their day or out of their workflow. Rather, we want to meet you where we know you already are. We know you’re in Outlook, so we put iMeet and GlobalMeet toolbars there, giving you access to your meetings directly from your email client. We know you’re constantly on your smartphone, so we’ll send you push notifications and let our meetings dial out to you. We know you’re sitting in front of your laptop on your conference call, so we give you visual tools to control your audio conference instead of relying solely on star commands. It’s about bringing users what they need when they need it.
Businesses Thrive on Measureable Results – and Innovation is no Different
Last year we created a unit at PGi called the Innovation Lab, a team dedicated to smaller-scale agile software development and the pursuit of new ideas and markets. Creating a culture of innovation here at PGi is important to keep us on the cutting edge of conferencing and collaboration technologies.
But the key to the Innovation Lab is that nothing is done in a vacuum. It’s not a group of creative thinkers and programmers throwing ideas at a wall and hoping for the best. Market research, competitive analysis and business cases are carefully investigated and analyzed. Good ideas have to be backed up with business intelligence, the ability to execute and most importantly the ability to measure results.
All companies want to be considered innovative. But only the ones who can back up their big ideas with intelligent design and execution will succeed in the long run.
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