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  • Saanya Amalean

The New Normal for Innovation

What was once regarded as a sure-fire path to competitive advantage has now become an essential survival skill. Innovation - a method, idea or tool that brings about change to something that is already established, has now run its course. One might ask why the need to constantly innovate has evolved to become a means of survival?

In a world that has become increasingly digitalised, each successive technological wave washes away what companies have already built, and in order to ensure long-term business survival, it is by all means necessary to keep up with this digital evolution.

Another factor is the power that lies with the consumer. This fast-paced technological environment offers a pretext for higher consumer empowerment. Demand and feedback circulates through social media at lightnening fast speeds, directly affecting companies, especially SMEs. The 21st century has paved new consumption patterns where people are constantly in search of "the next best thing".

With all corners of the globe completely engulfed by the Covid-19 pandemic, innovation will be a marathon, not a sprint. Bouncing back from the aftermath will require buinesses to reinvent themselves in a sustainable manner instead of enduring and investing both time and money simply with the reward of a short victory lap.

A recent virtual conference titled 'Organisational Innovation in a Deglobalised World', hosted by INSEAD's China Initative, explored the difficulties that digitalisation presents to established companies as well as the resources needed to sustainably innovate.

The conference also noted that companies must navigate a treacherous transition from vertical to horizontal IT architecture, cloud-based infrastructure and APIs stringing together internal and external inputs.

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