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2. Collaboration, the open way
“For IT companies, collaboration has increasingly become a critical piece of the innovation puzzle. A united, dedicated effort from key players can fuel the development of open standards and technologies, readily available to all, which will combine to make a veritable innovation ecosystem,” says Ranjan Sinha, HR thought leader, and member of the board of directors, Global Talent Metrics.
An open environment spurs valuable collaboration within the ecosystem and provides a springboard for cutting-edge technologies. The guiding principle is simple: by enriching the ecosystem and fostering it as a place for ideas to be exchanged, inventions can be tested, relationships can be created, and everyone benefits.
Rajdeep Sahrawat, vice president, NASSCOM, adds, “Innovation does not occur at the level of the industry or nation. Ultimately, it is the firm that is the atomic unit of competition and it is the firm that brings products and services to the customer. As a result, innovation ultimately has to occur in the context of the firm and the markets it targets, irrespective of whether it is a start-up or a large firm. Firms have a huge role to play in creating collaborative platforms. The current trends in innovation indicate that open collaborative innovation models will be key drivers of innovation in the future and co-created innovations have a far higher probability of success in the market place.”
Forecast: Innovation will no longer happen within the four walls of a company’s research lab. There will be open collaboration, across organisational boundaries. The ecosystem will evolve to become a backbone for such collaboration, providing the right meeting ground and communication channels.
3. Big companies will invest in smaller businesses
Manish Rathi, assistant vice president, Version 1.0, GlobalLogic, feels that one of the major changes in the innovation structure will be the adoption of a ground-up approach rather than the currently popular top-down approach to innovation.
“Bigger corporations are going to look outside their organisations for the next source of innovation. This will involve investing in external innovation forums, partnerships with the educational institutes, and adapting wisdom-of-the-crowd mechanisms to understand where the next innovative idea is going to come from,” he says. “I think the bigger tech firms are going to invest more in the smaller ones. These big tech firms are going to realise that the smaller start-ups are the ones where the next ideas are going to be seeded.”
Such a model will also be long-lasting if it is truly synergetic. After all, both the tech firms and the start-ups stand to gain from it. As Prakash Pai of Nucleus Software points out, “Start-up firms are generally nimble-footed and more innovative without past baggage like that of established firms. However, they lack the capital required to invest in innovation.” Collaboration between established players in the industry and start-ups is therefore, not just desirable but also necessary if the ecosystem is to grow by leaps and bounds.
Forecast: As organisations look outside for innovation, there will be a flow of funds (investments) from large corporations to smaller organisations, as large companies will try to tap their intellectual capital constructively.