Lessons in Innovation

I am sure you have heard about Steve Job’s surprise appearance in San Francisco today to announce the latest iPad. Though the iKing has looked better, the details on his latest greatest tablet looked awesome (if you care to call it a tablet). I am twisting my arm patting myself on the back for deciding to wait for iPad V2. The new iPad goes next-level on everything delivered in the first release and gives me the forward-facing camera I desperately need. I will soon be able to travel around the world evangelizing the power and promise of IT governance without having to carry two computers – no longer requiring the services of my Skype-capable personal laptop. I may not even need Skype given the FaceTime capabilities of the new iPad.

Here are a couple of good reviews of today’s announcement. The first is a CIO Magazine post written by Gregg Keizer. Greg covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld http://bit.ly/gj8cZj. The next is a CNET Reviews’ look at the new iPad by Donald Bell, CNET’s senior editor for portable entertainment http://cnet.co/h7HBIH.

My excitement aside, the Job’s-led Apple enterprise has once again made innovation look easy. In fact, I think you will find my glowing praise to be a notch above most others. Just about everyone expects Apple to “do it again.” Innovation has become a hallmark of the company almost to the point of their making it look mundane or even boring.

I do not share the diminished view of Apple’s continued ability to innovate. I will never tire or take for granted their incredible and almost unbelievable string of innovations. And since everyone and their brother and sister are screaming for IT-driven business innovation, we (the business and IT) should all continually look to Apple for lessons-learned.

One of the best articles for you to see if you are trying to emulate Apple’s ability to capture lightning in a bottle was described in a Harvard Business Review blog by Scott Anthony called, “The Three Critical Innovation Lessons from Apple” http://bit.ly/dZcd2D.

Though I present the bottom line of the article here, please take the time to give it a full read:

  1. Don’t just focus on building beautiful products. Build beautiful business models, new ways to create, deliver, and capture value. The iPod and iPhone would not have had nearly as much impact if they hadn’t been matched with iTunes and the AppExchange respectively.
  2. Think in terms of platforms and pipelines. Competitors that chase Apple’s latest release find themselves behind when six months later Apple introduces its latest and greatest offering.
  3. Take a portfolio approach. While Apple has been on a phenomenal run, not everything it has introduced has been a home run. For example, Apple TV hasn’t had the “revolutionary” impact that Jobs predicted upon its launch in 2007.

I am sure there are more lessons to be learned from Apple, as well as other companies that have shown a track record of continuous innovation. If you have some lessons to share, please send them my way.

Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist

Article source: CA ITGovernance Blog

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