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Best of IEF 2015: The Innovation Continuum

Innovation Executive Forum | Posted on May 12, 2016 by Tobin Dalrymple

After skimming through the findings of over 20 IEF events held last year, one point stands out from the rest.

IT leaders are smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis, one where the traditional values of IT no longer apply, and the expectations for a new kind of technology-led strategy are at times unbearably high.

This crisis hasn’t emerged from a vacuum. A decade of unparalleled innovation in computing, collaboration and analytics have completely re-invented the playing field for all industries. Meanwhile, simple human nature, and the hard-knock reality of old habits dying hard mean this evolution hasn’t been universal, nor smooth.

Some IT departments have been left behind. Others burned out on the buzz of whatever the latest trend was. How organizations straddle this new world of opportunity – in particular how they leverage IT to get there – makes all the difference.

Finding balance on the Innovation Continuum

In the simplest terms, it’s best to think of the situation leaders find themselves in as a continuum. On one end of the spectrum, IT is nowhere near where it “should be” in terms of adopting its modern place at the strategy table. It is continuously relegated as the “workhorse” of the business, called on only when things break down.

On the other extreme, which is just as bad, IT isn’t just asked to help revolutionize the business. They are given the keys and told to go nuts. Over-modernization has its own casualties, more often than not a failure to align practical, business-oriented thinking with major technology investments.

In the middle of the Innovation Continuum is more or less where the best and brightest new companies find themselves, and it’s where your should strive to be.

This golden mean balances IT’s new role as business partner and relationship builder with a firm stance on aligning evolution with measurable, real life goals. It does not see technology as an end, but a means to get there.

Curating the Insights

This perspective wasn’t invented by Softchoice. It was observed after dozens of rich, insightful discussions with the IEF leaders.

It’s also something we think everyone would benefit from taking a closer look at.

As such, we have put together three curated reports, to bring you best of IEF thought leadership from the sessions in 2015. In them, we’ve selected the most stimulating highlights from our events, and given you links so you can explore (or read again) the whitepapers these events produced.

The three reports:

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