The Secret To Bringing Innovation To Your Company’s DNA

Oliver Huschke

Part 4 of the “Kick-Starting Innovation” series

Empowering innovation can change everything. It’s what inspired Alexander Graham Bell’s breakthrough work in telephony, optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. It’s what drove Marie Curie to prove a doubting scientific community wrong when she pioneered radioactivity and discovered two elements that later became the core components of today’s technology. It’s what motivates Elon Musk’s quest to create more environment-friendly cars, light up every home with solar power, and send humans to Mars.

While these innovators’ stories are legendary, innovative ideas also reside in unlikely sources. I was recently reminded of this fact when watching the movie Hidden Figures. The story African-American mathematicians Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson detailed their vital role in the 1962 orbital space launch and safe return of the now-late astronaut John Glenn. Instead of being knocked down by a national culture of sexism and racism, each of these women brought attention to their innovative ideas by challenging the NASA system, breaking social norms, putting their talents on full display, and welcoming the support of an open-minded administrator or two.

Innovation is more than just acquiring a workforce diverse across race and gender. It’s about unleashing everyone’s potential because you never know where the next big idea will come from. Whether the innovator is an accounts payable clerk, field sales person, plant worker, or boardroom executive, businesses need all of their talents to help shape the future.

The empowerment pivot: How to build a business on human power

Many IT teams have internal technical experts on staff who are knowledgeable in traditional methodologies, programming languages, and business processes. While these skills may have served the business well, rapid adoption of cloud technology has created a skills gap, making it more difficult to improve business operations, processes, development, and go-to-market strategy.

Acquiring capabilities such as Big Data management, application security, cloud migration, and virtualization may help businesses solve common technological challenges. But this approach does not necessarily empower talent to use those skills to proactively build the momentum of their digital transformation.

Expert-guided cloud development sessions held throughout the year can provide the training, practical hands-on experience, and remote consulting needed to inspire the entire workforce with the right skills. Interactive and Web-based empowerment sessions use training materials to detail the development process step by step. Then learners can execute the steps on a cloud platform that hosts a digital twin of the company’s IT infrastructure and provides direct access to technology experts through remote support and screen-sharing.

Empowerment sessions can range from foundational skills to emerging trends, including:

  • Basic development on a cloud platform: Navigate tasks such as adding members, assigning roles to users, creating destinations to Internet resources, and connecting on-premises systems to the cloud platform account.
  • Internet of Things: Create IoT applications with cloud platform and IoT enablement technology to capture and store data from connected sensors.
  • Advanced development: Enable native development on an in-memory computing platform and expose data through the Open Data Protocol (OData), allowing businesses to create database tables, insert data, and build calculation and scripted views while adapting the application to evolving business needs.
  • Mobile development: Discover the services and tools available to design, implement, and integrate enterprise applications. From mobile application use cases to end-to-end mobile architecture, employees can explore the characteristics of native iOS apps, SDK frameworks and components, Xcode integrated development environment, and the Swift programming language.
  • Integration: Get acquainted with the cloud system landscape, integration, backend configuration, system connectivity, security, initial data load, scenario extensions, and monitoring capabilities.
  • Cybersecurity: Cover the complete identity lifecycle with provisioning procedures and strategies. Grant, control, and protect secured access to the cloud platform and extend permission to business users, developers, administrators, and technical users.

With the help of empowerment sessions, businesses can solidify their transition to a digital business. Every organization can engage ideas from inspiration to prototype by identifying and testing new business models with minimal investment and risk. More important, quick access to preconfigured technology use cases, an agile development process, proven design-thinking practices, and a training workspace provides the guidance employees need to contribute to the future of the business – and the world. 

Find out how your business can benefit from unlimited access to a showroom, a set of empowering sessions, and an innovation platform. Read the white paper “Achieve Digital Transformation and Create a System of Ongoing Innovation.”  

And don’t forget to check every Monday for new installments to our blog series “Kick-Starting Innovation.” Next week, we’ll explore how cloud adoption is driving innovation.

Oliver Huschke

About Oliver Huschke

Oliver Huschke is the global head of Solution Marketing for Digital Business Services at SAP. He has worked for SAP since 1997, starting with development, where he built and led the central test organization. Oliver was head of application management and managed marketing activities at SAP Hosting. Further stations include strategic development and Active Global Support with responsibility for global product management of the SAP Premium Engagement Program. Share your thoughts with Oliver on LinkedIn or Twitter.