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An explosion of new technologies is creating new winners and losers in nearly every industry. You only have to look at the changing fortunes of Apple and Hewlett-Packard in the personal computer/tablet arena over the last decade to see how innovation can propel one company into superstar status, while another becomes irrelevant in the same market space.

So how can companies gain and hold an edge in technology innovation? In an engagement with a major global manufacturer, Cisco IBSG identified three key factors in the product innovation process that companies must clearly understand and be able to orchestrate:

To become a market leader, a company needs not only to identify and track key disruptive technologies—it must also harness those new technologies in its solution platforms. In this case, “platforms” refer to solutions, services, and technologies that enable a new market offering. Don’t just develop strategies for each technology—understand the potential for disruption within your company’s key platforms.

Your innovation strategy will need to be repositioned or pivoted as technology changes or market reactions take shape. It is not enough to set up a strategic framework, and then revert to business as usual. Scanning for new technologies, orchestrating ecosystem partners, and managing market-facing processes must be ongoing processes. How well you deliver on this model will help determine whether your company will be a disruptor in your market space—or one of the disrupted.

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