A recently published blog on the World Economic Forum website from Abidali Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer, Wipro, makes a compelling case for embedding innovation into every aspect of a business. 

I was particularly drawn to two comments in the article. The first was that digital innovation is a continual evolution, not a one-off process. The best leaders now recognise that continuous innovation is a fact of life. Businesses need to continually challenge their own status quo and change to reflect the market. Those that do not will be disrupted.

The second point was that innovation can be incremental, disruptive or radical.  These points encapsulate the core issues for businesses looking to benefit from digital disruption and create a culture of innovation.

Continuous innovation – a fact of life

As the CEO of a company with many software products, it has been instructive to see how development processes have changed. A decade ago software updates were cyclical – between two or four times a year. Today the most innovative companies are evolving software daily: just look at how often mobile apps are updated. 

This also has significant implications for user experience, as anyone that experienced the ill-fated Instagram update of December 2018 will have noted. Continual innovation means adding new functions and features without demanding the user reads a manual to understand how to use them. It recognises that users need to go on a journey over time, rather than introducing a slew of new functions and features at once.

Evolution and revolution

The second point is equally important. Innovation usually takes the form of an evolution or a revolution.  Revolution happens less often, but when it does it can be earth shattering. 

Apple’s entry into the smartphone market disrupted the industry for a decade and led to the demise of several previously market leading phone manufacturers. Netflix changed the business model for entertainment consumption. 

The impact was felt by businesses as diverse as high street retailers of physical entertainment products and internet service providers. Square took advantage of the traditional high cost of credit card machines and the growth in the cashless society to offer small businesses an affordable and effective way to take card payments.

None of these businesses could have existed before digital, but each quickly identified the potential benefits and applied them to disrupt historical market leaders. In other words, each business was revolutionary to the market at the time they launched. What has kept these businesses relevant has been their commitment to evolve their services to ensure they do not become the disrupted party themselves. 

Lessons for business

In the intellectual property industry, vast quantities of data are collected, sorted and used to create value.  The IP industry is ripe for digital transformation: it will both vastly reduce administration and deliver better insight from all that data. CPA Global wants to lead this process, to support innovators as they fast track ideas generation and to help IP professionals work more effectively and generate powerful business insight from data.

Find out more about how CPA Global is disrupting IP management with the new Search app