Technological innovation is the process of replacing old products and services with markedly better ones by using new technologies. Technological innovations might improve the quality of the product, the simplicity of a process, the productivity of an organization, or the overall competitiveness of an industry.
Why does technological innovation matter? And why should your organization cultivate and court an innovation-forward mindset? Let’s explore the importance of technological innovation by tracking its influence on industries, consumers, the environment, and individual organizations.
Without technological innovation to frog-leap things forward, markets would be stuck in a limbo of reduced competition and increased monopolization.
Take the taxi industry in New York as an example (read: cautionary tale). Before the advent of rideshares, a lack of technological innovation led to market concentration and stagnancy. A few businesses ran the market, and there was little incentive for any of them to appreciably improve their offering. Then Uber came along – an era-defining, industry-disrupting technological innovation. And we all know how that turned out. On the positive side: yellow cabs recently made a comeback, having partnered with the rideshare giant.
Growing Alongside Consumer Expectations
Consumers expect products and services to improve; when an industry stagnates for too long, it opens itself to disruption from technological innovation. Moreover, in an age of unprecedented informational access, consumers expect industries to be forthright, amenable to diverse consumer preferences, and – crucially – simple to use.
Technological innovation can address these consumer frustrations, and help industries grow alongside consumer expectations. Take Nobul, for example, an innovative real estate marketplace that “introduces transparency, accountability and simplicity” to the process of buying/selling a home. The platform’s CEO Regan McGee believes that “a confluence of technological innovations makes it the perfect time to disrupt the status quo” in real estate, transforming a once-cagey industry into a more consumer-oriented enterprise.
Technological innovation doesn’t just solve for consumer expectations and operational efficiency. It can – and often is – applied to environmental concerns as well.
Recently, we’ve seen strides in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that reduces the carbon footprint of power plants. These technologies used to be prohibitively expensive to establish and deploy, but recent innovations like nanosponges and metal-organic frameworks (too complex for this article to explain) have democratized CCS for several smaller plants. Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page calls it “a stand-out technology to genuinely deliver a just transition for many fossil fuel-based communities.”
Thus far, we’ve explored the macro scale importance of technological innovation – how it broadly benefits society and markets. But if you scale your focus down to an internal, organizational level, you start to see even more advantages.
Technological innovations have already improved operational efficiency, streamlined inter-office communication, and increased productivity. Just look at the recent slate of data-driven project management tools, VR-enabled employee engagement platforms, and more.
Technological innovation is vital on the organizational, industrial, and societal levels. It represents the best of what humans have to offer – a bold look at what’s possible, and what was once impossible.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.