In the continuing quest for business growth, many CEOs are turning to their CIOs and IT organizations because technology is essential to two compelling sources of growth: innovation and integration. Innovation, of course, is doing new things that customers ultimately appreciate and valueâ€”not only developing new generations of products, services, channels, and customer experience but also conceiving new business processes and models. Integration is making the multiple units, functions, and sites of large organizations work together to increase capacity, improve performance, lower cost structure, and discover opportunities for improvement that donâ€™t appear until you look across functions.
Together, innovation and integration allow an enterprise to engage more customers and bring more goods and services to market. Successful innovation often depends on the ability to coordinate efforts across organizational boundaries because innovations reach sufficient scale and impact only when integrated into the larger operations of the corporation.
But the work involves sometimes daunting challenges because business innovation and integration have something else in commonâ€”both are still â€œunnatural actsâ€ in most large corporations.