enterprise driving innovation

Driving innovation: Transforming the enterprise for the new world of work

by ​Natalie Schubert

Creating a culture of continuous innovation isn’t as difficult as you think. Today’s work environment is the most complex in history, and the way that we view information is changing rapidly—part of a broader change that is impacting organizations of all sizes and in all industries. Where technology used to be the primary means of achieving business goals, the focus today is on how people work, share information and collaborate.

This has been a difficult environment for many organizations to navigate, but some leaders have stood out for their ability to quickly capture, transform and manage their critical business information. At Ricoh, we call this information mobility, and it’s at the very foundation of business success in the new world of work. Specifically, it is a key enabler of innovation—and organizations looking to create an innovative climate must first examine how information flows throughout their organization, and how they can best use that information to make better business decisions.

To create a culture that encourages innovation, organizations must look to break down barriers and open the flow of information throughout an entire organization.

Information: The heart of innovation

If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” – Jack Welch

Understanding how information flows through an organization is key to harnessing its power and using it to drive innovation and business success.

This information cycle starts with capture — the creation of information, whether that’s by generating ideas from internal stakeholders, or by capturing ideas and data from external sources. From there, information moves to the transform phase, where information moves throughout the organization, carrying business value. Finally, information must be delivered, at the right time, in the right place, in the right format, so that it can be most useful to the intended audience, allowing them to make better business decisions. This is the manage phase.

In my time working with organizations, I’ve found that the more of these information cycles exist during the total lifespan of the information in question, the more turbulent the flow of information throughout the organization. This leads to lost integrity, diffused value and increased risks, and is complicated further when organizations become more mobile, and information must be managed effectively enough to reach multiple sources, often at the same time.

These issues are only exacerbated by the external challenges facing many modern organizations: the speed of workstyle and technological change; an increasingly competitive landscape dotted with lean, agile competition; and increased scrutiny of regulatory requirements. To create a culture that encourages innovation, organizations must look to break down these barriers and open the flow of information throughout an entire organization. The benefits of this approach are clear. 

No challenge is too big

In a successful organization, information becomes innovation—and information mobility is the gateway.

Of course, there are a number of potential stumbling blocks within an organization. Perhaps your information is siloed, or you’re struggling to do more with less. Maybe you’re being forced to respond to the business challenges of 2016 with equipment built 10 or 20 years ago. Or perhaps you’re struggling to keep employees on board with changes in your organization, or adapting to their unique workstyle needs. Whatever the case, this transformation to a culture of continuous innovation requires a robust mobility strategy. This strategy must address a number of issues:

  • Enabling cross-departmental collaboration and breaking down silos

  • Protecting the organization with a strong information security and governance plan

  • Integrating mobile devices and apps to support business processes

  • Implementing technologies that can digitize information and reduce reliance on paper. Re-engineering office space to create a more collaborative work environment

  • Employing cloud to its greatest effect for your organization’s unique needs

  • Keep up to date with the latest technologies, so that employees are able to work remotely, share information and better collaborate.

A culture of continuous improvement requires an organizational-wide commitment to information mobility, and it certainly isn’t a small job. But this is made easier by bringing on a trusted partner to provide a balanced, outside look at your mobility strategy. The benefits of an information mobility-driven approach to innovation are clear — research shows that this strategy can help organizations boost revenue by an average of $7,210 an employee, increase productivity by 42 percent, and reduce costs.[1]

That’s what innovation can bring to your organization.

Make information work for you

In a successful organization, information becomes innovation—and information mobility is the gateway. 

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  1. 1. IDC research study conducted on behalf of Ricoh USA.

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