“If you’re not borderline uncomfortable in how far you’re pushing innovation, you’re probably not doing enough,” says Humphrey, in explaining why businesses need to keep moving and evolving.
Scanning the environment is essential to identify where technology could offer opportunities but also to identify where it poses a threat to your business. “Keeping an eye on what’s happening, not just in your sector, but in aligned sectors can help you see how your peers are evolving and also where other businesses have used solutions you could adapt or indeed where they might see a chance to move into your space,” says Roland.
Using your ecosystem as your ear to the ground is a great way of keeping pace, he continues. “Most of the time your staff will know the challenges in your business and will have thought about the answers, so listen to them, then talk to your customers to see if those solutions meet their expectations, and engage with your suppliers too, because they’ll know what’s happening in other parts of the market.”
Both Roland and Humphrey stress the importance of trying solutions. “The worst thing you can do is stay still,” says Roland. “Try different solutions and remember you don’t have to develop capability yourself, there are options to rent capability from the hyperscalers and see how it works for you. “
Humphrey agrees. “Decisions are less long-term and investment heavy because costs are coming down and technology is evolving quickly, so all that reduces the risk of acting, but it also increases the risk of doing nothing.”