Over the past two years, Forrester’s research teams have been really diving into the role that technology executives play in driving innovation. And that research has shown that companies driving a sustainable approach to innovation grow more than 2.5 times their industry average year over year. That’s why we’ve identified inspiring and innovating through technology as one of the seven top priorities that tech executives should be focused on in their journey to becoming more customer-obsessed.

Let’s take a closer look at how some of those leading firms have been able to make innovation a core part of their DNA.

Current State

To help us understand their recipe for innovation success, we isolated the best practices of leading firms and identified a toolkit that defines a distinct set of competencies and processes that technology executives can use to evolve their innovation skills and programs. This toolkit (which is already available to Forrester clients) will help firms:

  • Move from an inside-out innovation approach to a customer-led, outside-in innovation paradigm.
  • Shift from many uncoordinated innovation projects to a coherent and connected innovation strategy.
  • Apply practical execution strategies for every state of maturity and readiness, based on real examples.
  • Define and measure innovation outcomes based on relevant metrics.
  • Create and nurture an innovation culture that drives collaboration and entrepreneurship.

Over the past few months, our innovation coverage has evolved to provide more in-depth insights and research focused on specific execution challenges that firms are facing today with regard to innovation.

For example, some of the recent research we’ve developed to help clients put their innovation plans into action include:

What’s Coming Next

We are currently working on evolving our innovation coverage even further and over the next few months are planning to provide technology executives specific guidance around:

  • Building innovation networks. Enterprises cannot tackle innovation in isolation and need to leverage a systematic approach to co-innovation. Understanding the dynamics and different roles of innovation networks becomes a critical capability for differentiation and growth. With our innovation network research, we will enable technology executives to make the right choices for driving their innovation efforts through innovation networks.
  • Leveraging strategic roadmaps. Innovation leaders need to build strategic innovation roadmaps that consider cross-generational aspects for employee experience, industry-specific aspects for collaboration, and geographic-specific opportunities for outsourcing. Furthermore, we will be researching industry-specific innovation approaches across several key sectors such as financial services, retail, and manufacturing.
  • Investing in innovation platforms. Innovation platforms can accelerate your innovation activity as they help connect the right people to work on the right ideas. Our forthcoming innovation management platform Now Tech report will provide an overview of the leading innovation platform software vendors worldwide. We will analyze them in terms of their size, market focus, and geography covered as well as capabilities offered.

There is a lot of great research underway, and our team can assist you in applying it in the best possible way. Let us know what else would be helpful to you and your team to evolve your innovation capability.