For those that haven’t noticed, we recently re-branded. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Following our acquisition by ECS Group, Forest Technologies has become ECS Digital. And with that re-brand, comes a new tagline. You’ve probably seen it: it’s splashed across our homepage, our business cards and our conference swag: Continuous Innovation.
We think it sums up everything we do here at ECS Digital – and why – but what exactly does it mean?
Put simply, continuous innovation is what it says on the tin: It’s a methodology that allows companies to continuously improve in line with customer demand and market expectations, as well as new and existing competitors.
But, why is Continuous Innovation so important?
Nearly 100 years ago, Albert Einstein, himself, said:
“we cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.
This has never been as true as it is today. Customer expectations have dramatically increased in recent years with the consumerisation of IT. Since the emergence of disruptive industry challengers, web 2.0 companies have begun to establish not only new markets, but new ways of consuming existing or traditional services.
As we head deeper into the digital age, new products, services and features are surfacing all the time, and customers have come to expect these to be delivered to them quickly. This speed at which the consumer market is moving is forcing companies to innovate at an ever increasing rate. With the breadth of choice and ease of switching providers eroding customer loyalty, this innovation has to be delivered to the highest standards.
Increasingly, companies are finding that in order to survive – let alone grow – they need to change the way they work. At the same time, they’re being pushed to do more with less (or at least the same) making it imperative that organisations work smarter, not harder. It is no longer an option to do what’s always been done.
Industry disruption is so real nowadays that all businesses face the threat of disruptor companies.
In fact, compared to 1995, only 12% of Fortune 500 firms remain, thanks to the creative destruction that fuels economic prosperity, and the average time companies now spend on the Fortune 500 will shrink to 12 years by 2020 from 60 years back in 1960.
The more agile and able to innovate you are, the easier it is to keep up with changes in consumer trends, and avoid going out of business.
Let’s rewind a few years…
…and remember Blockbuster: In 2004, the leader in home movies and video game rentals was valued at over $6 billion. By 2010, Netflix had become a household name for online video streaming services, rendering Blockbuster stores bankrupt.
Despite Blockbuster’s efforts to send rentals-by-mail and offer streaming services, they were unable to do so soon enough. Blockbuster were beaten to the post by a company that could innovate both continuously and rapidly, and left by fickle consumers demanding convenience at speed and value. Those of us that remember can only reminisce on the Friday nights going to Blockbusters, grabbing some popcorn and renting the latest releases.
If Blockbuster had been capable of innovating and delivering new services to customers faster, could they have competed against Netflix?
It’s possible: more than simply allowing companies to stay ahead of trends, innovation has become one of the keys to dominating a market. Evolution is no longer enough to win, let alone retain customers:“The light bulb wasn’t invented by continuously improving the candle…it was about understanding what the job to be done was and then stepping back to look for solutions to solve this.”
Who would have thought the adoption of agile principles would allow the world’s biggest online book seller, Amazon, to not only kill the traditional bookstore, the traditional bookstore, but become the world’s biggest cloud provider?
What if Amazon launched a bank…?
How does ECS Digital help companies achieve Continuous Innovation?
Here at ECS Digital, we believe that everything is done with the aim of helping our customer achieve continuous innovation. As a DevOps and Continuous Delivery consultancy, we help companies of all sizes to adopt the working practices, processes and tools that enable them to deliver the continuous innovation that customers and users demand.
DevOps itself is an enabler of innovation. As well as improving the speed, failure rates and efficiency of organisations, it encourages businesses to:
- Collaborate more effectively, making for not only more satisfied and productive employees, but a more rounded view and wider pool of internal ideas. As Adam Jacob, CTO of Chef once said, “Happy people make happy products.”
- Shorten customer feedback loops to ensure the products and services they develop are what their customers want.
- Respond with greater creativity and agility to changes, threats, demands and inevitable failures. As Elon Musk said: “If you’re not failing, you’re not innovating fast enough.”
Achieving the above allows companies to continually innovate. At ECS Digital, we transform enterprises through the adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery, allowing them to stay ahead of competition and giving them the opportunity to disrupt their markets.
To learn more about how DevOps helps organisations to innovate, why not read my article, placed in Horizon Business Innovation: “DevOps enables CIOs to create Innovation.”