Managing IT Innovation for Business Value

Practical Strategies for IT and Business Managers
Book Type: Intel Press Books
Category: IT Best Practices
Table of Contents:

Successful companies actively cultivate new ideas, put those ideas to work quickly and efficiently, and harvest the business value benefits of successful innovations. Discussions of innovation often focus on what a company offers, that is, its products and services. In Managing Information Technology Innovation for Business Value, Esther Baldwin and Martin Curley show how successful IT innovations pay back handsomely as well. Innovation is not just about what a company offers, innovation is also about how a company conducts business and how IT innovation can transform an organization into a significantly more efficient company.

Drawing on their experience with innovation in Intel’s engineering operations, Baldwin and Curley emphasize that IT innovation does not require whole-scale invention. An innovative IT solution reapplied in a new context can provide even greater business value because the initial investment in developing the solution has already been made.

Baldwin and Curley highlight the importance of diffusion, which in the context of IT innovation is the acceptance of a new IT solution. An innovation leading to a quality IT solution that does not diffuse cannot contribute to business value. The authors provide a multitude of techniques and methods that improve the likelihood of successful diffusion. User-centered design, for example, increases the likelihood of a successful match between an innovative IT solution and the needs of a community of users.

Systemic innovation results when innovative excellence is woven in the fabric of a company's business processes. Like quality and safety, innovation competencies affect all business functions on an ongoing basis. The culture of the company, its values and its management methods, come together to support the innovator, reward successful innovations, and learn important lessons when innovations go astray.

Managing Information Technology Innovation for Business Value includes examples and case studies from IT organizations as well as from Intel Corporation. It also includes assessment techniques, skill set descriptions, and a capability maturity framework to help IT organizations understand where they stand as innovators and what steps they can take to strengthen their competencies.

The companion Web site provides all code examples presented in the book and an evaluation version of the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives.

"What can a small-medium business (SMB) learn from the IT experts at Intel? Some common-sense lessons on IT innovation management. Innovation can be incremental, for example, and a proven innovation can be re-applied over and over in new and different settings. That's a key message for those of us who serve the SMB market."

Mathew Dickerson, AXXIS Technology, Australia

"It is necessary to think and practice innovation to make a firm's IT investments successful. This is the key lesson that Baldwin and Curley have learnt through many years of managing IT at Intel Corporation. In this book, they share their experiences and explain a systemic approach to managing IT innovations by ensuring firm-wide diffusion of successes, by leveraging firm assets through user-centered design, and by integrating IT with business process innovations."

Lars Mathiassen, Professor, Center for Process Innovation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University

"Innovation is not just about new products and services. It's also about how an innovative organization conducts business practices and the invaluable role of IT in those processes. For innovation to 'stick' it must become a systemic mindset like quality and safety. Managing Information Technology Innovation for Business Value offers invaluable and fresh stories that can be applied to any size IT organization"

Charles Chic Thompson, Batten Fellow at the UVA Darden Business School, Author of What a Great Idea!

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About the Author(s)

Esther Baldwin

Esther Baldwin is Innovation Diffusion Manager at Intel Corporation, focusing on IT innovation. With 20 plus years of experience in the industry she was key in establishing a culture of systemic innovation while starting up the Innovation Center in Shanghai, China. Esther has also been active in many Intel technical and management initiatives including choosing new Intel sites, starting a new factory in Pudong, China, and building new global data centers in Japan, the UK, and USA.

Esther holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Design and Design Engineering from Brigham Young University and a Master's Degree in International Management from the Galvin Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). She is an Eisenhower Fellow.

Martin Curley

Martin Curley is Global Director of IT Innovation and Research at Intel Corporation. Martin drives the development and adoption of emerging technologies and IT business practices in support of new business solutions.

Martin has held senior IT and engineering positions at General Electric in Ireland and Philips in the Netherlands. At Intel, Martin has served as Director of IT Strategy and Technology, and Fab14 Automation Manager based in Dublin, Ireland.