What’s the first thing to come to mind when you think of innovation? For many, it might be Steve Jobs, iPhone in hand, wearing his classic black turtleneck. The iPhone is the perfect example of digital innovation. Jobs and the Apple team built upon an idea that already existed (mobile phones) and turned the devices into an integral part of our daily lives. Now, there are over 1.6 billion active iPhone users across the globe.
The result of this innovation was a device that customers wanted to use. And it also inspired companies of all kinds, not just those in consumer tech, to explore new ways to innovate to deliver exceptional products, services, and customer experiences.
Let's define digital innovation first!
The practise of using contemporary digital technology to address business issues by streamlining procedures, enhancing consumer experiences, and introducing fresh business models is at the heart of digital innovation.
We are surrounded by digital innovation, including wearable technology, chatbots, IoT, AI, big data, etc. Among the business applications of these new technologies are:
- An AR app that shop floor employees use to monitor temperatures and stop machines from overheating
- A healthcare provider using AI to more accurately identify patients’ conditions
- Data from many sources is digitalized and integrated for thorough, timely reporting.
An instance of digital innovation in action is provided here:
Innovation for Domino’s, a quick-service pizza restaurant, came from enhancing its app. The app was used by about 70% of customers to place orders, but in-person pickup was still necessary.
Domino’s decided to build on its existing products, like its mobile app, when Covid-19 made it difficult for customers to pick up their orders. This allowed customers to place orders and receive contactless delivery.
This new idea was successful. Customers were able to more easily and safely obtain what they desired—a toasted pizza with a side of cheesy bread—by addressing a major point of discomfort. The company’s highest-ever mobile app order growth rate of 80% was made possible by this invention.
This is an excellent illustration of innovative internet business. It entails using digital technology to boost operational effectiveness, which eventually results in more customer engagement. The compatibility of Domino’s digital business innovation with its digital strategy is one of the factors contributing to its success.
Why is digital innovation so crucial?
Whether it be for job or personal use, practically every aspect of human activity has a digital component. Every day, whether we use Lyft or Airbnb to reserve a hotel room, we are exposed to digital innovation.
If businesses don’t digitally innovate or change to reflect changing consumer and business patterns, they run the risk of being irrelevant.
According to Foundry, 89 percent of firms intend to implement a digital-first company strategy. It’s a simple matter of disrupt or be disrupted in an era where creating enterprise online and mobile applications doesn’t require months or years of writing protracted, sophisticated programmes.
Digital innovation is for whom?
Any organisation that wants to produce products and services that customers enjoy and stay competitive and profitable needs to embrace digital innovation, regardless of its size or industry.
Business application development is no longer solely an IT responsibility at the functional level. In fact, business users in HR, marketing, operations, finance, and any other department can create cutting-edge applications thanks to cutting-edge platforms like low-code.
Digital Transformation vs Digital Innovation
Digital transformation is a continuous process that modifies how an organisation thinks and functions in order to transform and enhance business performance. Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation also involves people, processes, and a portfolio in addition to the technology you use.
Digital innovation (or digital business innovation) is the creative spark that inspires the creation of new technology or cutting-edge uses for already-existing digital technology. Digital transformation frequently comes before digital innovation.
Let’s revisit the Domino’s illustration. By developing an omnichannel approach that enables pizza enthusiasts to place orders on various platforms by employing chatbot technology and AI, the business began digitally innovating back in 2017. Really cool, no? Customers could now place orders with Domino’s by simply sending a pizza emoji over Facebook Messenger.
However, there was more to it than that, of course. Domino’s had to digitise its internal operations in order to fully utilise this technology. In order to speed up the process and automate it, it had to combine all of its databases and, consequently, consumer information. There is so much more available, even though the buyer may simply see an emoji of a pizza (then the real thing), but there is a lot more going on in the background.
3 key tips for your digital innovation strategy
Changes in both the process and the technology were the driving forces behind Domino’s innovation. A crucial, yet frequently ignored, component of a digital innovation strategy is people and process. How do you put digital innovation into practise now that you understand what it is? Three elements must be the emphasis of a digital innovation plan to be effective:
1. Engagement of customers, partners, or suppliers
The key word here is convenience. How can you make using your product simpler for your suppliers or customers? Applications can assist many businesses in achieving this objective. Apps that help achieve this purpose include advisory tools, employee fact-finding aids, and customer portals. Consider the insurance sector. In their interactions with insurance businesses, customers are increasingly looking for digital alternatives.
IBM discovered that only 16 percent of insurance businesses use and support virtual assistants, despite the fact that 38 percent of clients desire them to assist them with self-service chores. Additionally, a startling 75% of customers want to see new technology adopted by the businesses they do business with.
For insurance companies, providing excellent customer service over the phone or through chat may not be sufficient. Businesses might need to look for fresh approaches to interact with their clients. In doing so, Zurich Insurance. Although it already used a multi-channel strategy, it created a digital innovation plan that put the needs of the client first.
2. Innovation of products and services
Another important method to apply a digital innovation plan is to differentiate your company, whether by adding digital components to current products and services or even by developing entirely new products or services. New applications that enable mobile services, individualised product offers, and novel business models are frequently a part of product and service innovation.
Zurich developed FaceQuote, an app that employs facial recognition technology, as part of its focus on client centricity, to assist its customers in swiftly obtaining an estimate for a life insurance policy. This improved a time-consuming, already-existing process.
Customers only needed to use the company’s app to shoot a selfie. Zurich created the app in under one week using low-code. Based on a customer’s selfie, the app may infer their age and provide a quote. Customers were given a link to a full life application tool along with their estimate.
3. Internal mechanisms access, processing, or reporting
Any app, no matter how wonderful, may not be as good as it could be if the processes aren’t in place to support it. By making back-office operations more efficient, you may decrease the cost of service and support while increasing customer satisfaction and response times. Consider how new applications that offer better access to data and better mobility can help you automate complex internal operations, enabling quicker reporting and decision making, and empower your employees.
Zurich’s team was able to move swiftly because to the company’s use of low-code and an agile approach. The outcomes are self-evident: Zurich Insurance processed 63,000 life insurance quotes during the course of a year.
Digital innovation depends on end-to-end solutions
Making business applications is no longer solely an IT responsibility at the functional level. In fact, business users in HR, marketing, operations, finance, and other departments can already begin creating applications thanks to cutting-edge platforms like low-code.
You might have noticed a characteristic these three locations share: They include complete solutions. An off-the-shelf solution, such as a third-party app, may result in unforeseen difficulties and additional work. However, an end-to-end solution enables a business to control the entire procedure.
Additionally, it provides the following advantages:
- Avoiding the hassle of integrating numerous solutions that might not operate well together
- Decreasing redundancy and costs
- Increasing automation and productivity
- Strengthening data security
If you’re using a patchwork of different softwares that don’t integrate, it can be challenging to put a digital innovation strategy into practise. This patchwork may have served its purpose for a smaller business or project, but as the scope of the endeavour grows, it may fall apart.
How to start your projects for digital innovation
Fast-track teams, also known as innovation laboratories, are being developed by an increasing number of businesses to serve as internal incubators. These organisations give the business a fast track for delivering apps that connect to objectives for digital innovation. But in order to accelerate end-to-end results, the appropriate people, process, portfolio, and platform are needed.
Here are some pointers to get you going.
- People: Choose two or three individuals who are driven to provide business value from the business and IT teams. No more massive teams; simply a small, laser-focused team that can work together to find digital solutions to challenging business problems
- Process: Use an agile, iterative process to spur innovation without interfering with ongoing business operations or development initiatives. You may deploy new digital features more frequently, demonstrate progress, and get more customer input by iterating relentlessly toward the ideal solution (which then can be actioned more quickly through additional development sprints).
- Portfolio: Quick wins and high-value initiatives can be combined into a project portfolio to achieve quick success and a wow effect, while high-value initiatives can be used to support larger organisational change, particularly when the applications are linked to pertinent strategic projects.
- Platform: Find the best technology to strengthen your process and empower your workforce. A single platform that controls programme administration, team collaboration, quick application development, immediate cloud deployment, and application management is what you should seek for.
How low-code innovation fosters digital creativity
In the current era of digital Darwinism, firms must decide whether to change or risk becoming obsolete.
However, low-code development is transforming how companies create mobile and online applications. Emerging technologies like AR/VR, IoT, AI, and machine learning being catalysed into practical business solutions by low-code platforms like Mendix. Find out more about the things you can create using low-code or get in touch with us to get going.