Relating IT to Service Innovation

Relating IT to Service Innovation

Jay Ramanathan (Ohio State University, USA) and Rajiv Ramnath (Ohio State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-276-3.ch009
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Abstract

We explore how different types of opportunities for Interaction improvement - innovation, effectiveness, and resilience can be identified. Our goal here is to explore how an understanding of Interactions also helps identify opportunities for innovation and resilience. Previously we have already covered examples of IT use in Interaction effectiveness though Lean and Knowledge Management. Our focus here is on identifying opportunities through a systematic understanding of Innovation.
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Introduction

We use the evolution in new media to illustrate:

  • How can we systematically explore the opportunities?

  • What are examples of innovation applied to new media?

  • What is the larger role for IT in enabling new models for the business?

Our goal here is to explore how an understanding of Interactions also helps identify opportunities for innovation and resilience. Previously we have already covered examples of IT use in Interaction effectiveness though Lean and Knowledge Management. Our focus here is on identifying opportunities through a systematic understanding of Innovation.

First we present some recent definitions and background (Larson & Brahmakulam 2001) related to innovation:

Innovation is a locally-driven process that succeeds where organizational conditions foster the transformation of knowledge into products, processes, systems, and services. The local part of this is very important . . . it’s only when local expertise, and knowledge of local needs, local conditions, and local resources, can be brought to the picture, that innovation will truly happen.

The first link in the innovation chain involves transforming what may be predominantly theoretical knowledge into a practical application, whether in terms of a product or a processa. The tangible outputs include both a technology that can be transferred to industry and the knowledge capital (know-how) embodied in scientists and engineers who are responsible for technology breakthroughs; both can disseminate through the economy.

A common view that was also expressed at this 2001 National Science Foundation sponsored workshop was that work at the seams - i.e., work that cuts across traditional disciplinary lines and across university-industry lines - was where the unexpected could be expected to happen, with the result being innovation. The reason seemed to be that solutions not obvious in one realm might be perfectly obvious in another and that these sorts of Interactions enhanced the prospects that such solutions could be made obvious.

This view lends its self to a better understanding of potential innovations by focusing on Interactions and agents as we will see here.

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Best Practices In Innovation

Around the turn of the millennium and with the opportunity for innovation in eBusiness, most organizations sought to define their own unique advantage. At about the same time Christiansen (Christensen 1996) introduced the Theory of Innovation with the following basics:

  • Successful innovation is based on the actual circumstances of use and not usually on a demographic of the market.

  • Disruptive innovation targets un-served, under-served and over-served markets.

  • Successful innovations must align with the resources, processes and values of the enterprise.

  • Methods based on an understanding of the Innovation Stages and Activities and Portfolio Thinking.

It was also found that the actual innovation varies from industry to industry. Broadly speaking there are different types of innovations:

  • Disruptive change in the market

  • Sustaining target in the same market

  • Incremental improvement of the product or process

  • Architectural change in the composition

  • Modular substitutes

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