The Technology Innovation Paradox
A recent AOTMP research study revealed that 86% of enterprise organizations cite employee efficiency and productivity as the leading internal use of telecom technology, with improving communications between employees and customers coming in second at 64%. Both use cases are indicative of alignment between technology and business objectives. Employee efficiency and productivity affect corporate expense; and communication between employees and customers influences customer satisfaction and customer retention leading to positive revenue returns.
The same research study discovered that approximately 18% of an organization’s total telecom / IT budget is allocated toward innovation projects and initiatives. This is a moderate percentage that, in most cases, should afford organizations opportunity to evolve technology supporting new and changing business objectives. Yet, technology innovation is hindered by lack of sufficient budget (64%), lack of resources and expertise (40%) and inadequate infrastructure (28%). These findings illustrate a notable paradox between the stated value to the business of technology in the telecom estate and commitment to empowering technology innovation. If an organization is keen on leveraging technology to achieve business objectives, then inhibitors to technology innovation must be mitigated.
These findings illustrate a positive relationship between technology and business communications enablement, but there is still opportunity to improve technology innovation support overall. The next strata of technology innovation alignment with business strategy is achieved when investment in innovation is embraced and factors hindering success are reduced to marginal status. Innovation opportunity exists and when it is fully supported by the business, positive business returns will be generated.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.