Why these 3 obstacles often hinder innovation

Those who strive for a positive ROI must first ensure that the software is actually used and that it also delivers a direct or indirect efficiency gain.

Didier Stickens

Innovation. Change. Change management.

Innovation can be viewed in two ways. On the one hand, there is innovation as an improvement process in which the business is viewed from a different angle. This often brings new insights. What’s more, it is an important growth factor. What part in our business could be more efficient? Where are the opportunities for improvement? What can we automate? Many companies undoubtedly have this on their priority list.

In addition, there is also innovation in the capacity of a start-up. Working out a great idea or implementing a completely new process that doesn’t yet exist. However, to address these innovative challenges, we regularly encounter digital barriers. The implementation is postponed which ensures that the effects are of course absent.

Read further in this article which 3 obstacles block innovation the most and how they can be turned around.   

The cost is too high

Implementing a change for one part of the business sometimes has consequences for other divisions or processes. As a result, the scope of the project immediately becomes much larger and therefore more expensive. For example, for a start-up the budget is often a major stumbling block.

However, this does not have to be the case. IT projects should not always be implemented in a big-bang approach. On the contrary, it is better to start with a well-defined part. Large all-encompassing big-bang projects oblige project staff to make choices in advance for which they lack the knowledge, data and/or experience at that moment. Starting small and then expanding further allows the innovation to be implemented in bite-sized parts. It is easier to make adjustments during the process. Moreover, this method allows to make part of the project available much faster and thus collect feedback from users or customers for the next steps. The whole becomes clearer and it is more economical.

Support is insufficient

Automating systems has a major impact on the business itself, but also on the users. Companies regularly encounter resistance to change. This can be caused by previous adjustments that brought little improvement, by the extra work to learn the new process, or simply because there is opposition to change.

Too often, software applications are created from the perspective of the management. The manager needs data, so the employees have to fill it in without further ado. Change management is used to convince employees. 

However, good software applications start from the perspective of the users and ensure that they benefit from the use. A good user experience is then a necessary but insufficient condition. The user should also benefit from using the application. This requires the involvement of the users and flexibility of the developers.

The possibilities are underestimated

In order to automate a system, existing software packages are examined. Usually they have a limited applicability. Or a lot of adjustments still have to be made by consultants to make them work as desired. Often not everything turns out to be possible in the end, so the result is a suboptimal system.

Sometimes developing a piece of custom software to connect existing packages can bring a lot of improvement. Of course, this does not change the user-friendliness of the standard packages.

When you choose to automate a number of processes with custom software, the possibilities are virtually unlimited. You can then ensure that all users get enough benefit from the application.

Custom software is seen by many companies as expensive and difficult to maintain. However, that is an outdated view. Especially now that almost all standard applications must first be configured for your company by expensive consultants. Also, don’t underestimate the license fees per user per year.

Those who strive for a positive ROI must first ensure that the software is actually used and that it also delivers a direct or indirect efficiency gain. Innovative companies therefore opt more often for tailor-made software wherever this gives them an advantage.

Are you an innovative changer? And would you like to pitch your groundbreaking idea to our experts? Tell us your story. Contact us on info@coteng.com or +32 3 326 43 13