How to Successfully Maintain an Innovative Capability

 
 
By Jerry Smith  |  Posted 2009-06-09 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


How to successfully maintain an innovative capability

In order to successfully outsource engineering and maintain an innovative capability, the CTO or head of engineering must address five key practices:

Practice No. 1: Creating an innovation vision

The first step is to create a vision for innovation that is directly linked to your overall business strategy. It requires a clear role for innovation and how innovation supports the desired long-term market positioning and growth.

Practice No. 2: Creating an innovation culture

The work of creating an innovation culture is akin to creating any other kind of culture in a company: it requires a clear set of principles, modeling by leadership, communication and reward systems.

Practice No. 3: Creating the innovation processes

This is the guts of our innovation system-the development of disciplined business processes whose intent is to create a reliable stream of innovations without breaking the engineering process. The four core processes include: identifying innovation opportunities, managing the portfolio of innovation projects, designing and developing new products and services, and launching new products and services.

Practice No. 4: Creating innovation structures

The innovation processes need to be supported by organizational structures and other support systems (for instance, IT, training and team structures).

Practice No. 5: Measuring innovation results

You need to understand and define innovation measurement and how the complete in-house and outsourced teams get rewarded.

Outsourcing R&D has gone global and therefore innovation must follow. Moving it offshore, even outsourcing it, often provides the impetus to put these structures in place. So, outsourcing critical R&D functions need not be the death knell of innovation. More than any other growth initiative, innovation needs to be managed and, as such, requires careful planning and a commitment to sticking with strategies that map to the overall product development vision.

 Dr. Jerry Smith is CTO of Symphony Services. Jerry draws from more than 25 years of experience as a technology innovator and IT strategist to help Symphony and its clients derive business benefit from the successful adoption and use of critical technologies. Jerry joins Symphony from his role as CTO, vice president of engineering and acting CIO for IPR International, a technology services company specializing in the protection and preservation of electronic information. Prior to IPR, Jerry was the senior vice president and CTO at Systems and Computers Technology (SCT), and the CTO of professional services firm Semaphore. Jerry also worked in management roles at Xerox, Sales Technologies and KPMG, and was the principal investigator/owner of Market Place Technologies.

Jerry has a B.S. degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from California State Polytechnic University and Masters and Post-Doctoral degrees in Computer Science from NOVA Southeastern University. He also has a Naval Nuclear Power degree from the United States Navy, in which he served as a pilot, nuclear engineer and project engineer. Jerry is also an adjunct assistant professor at Drexel University and an adjunct professor at NOVA Southeastern University. He can be reached at jsmith@symphonysv.com.



 
 
 
 
Dr. Jerry Smith is CTO of Symphony Services. Jerry draws from more than 25 years of experience as a technology innovator and IT strategist to help Symphony and its clients derive business benefit from the successful adoption and use of critical technologies. Jerry joins Symphony from his role as CTO, vice president of engineering and acting CIO for IPR International, a technology services company specializing in the protection and preservation of electronic information. Prior to IPR, Jerry was the senior vice president and CTO at Systems and Computers Technology (SCT), and the CTO of professional services firm Semaphore. Jerry also worked in management roles at Xerox, Sales Technologies and KPMG, and was the principal investigator/owner of Market Place Technologies. Jerry has a B.S. degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from California State Polytechnic University and Masters and Post-Doctoral degrees in Computer Science from NOVA Southeastern University. He also has a Naval Nuclear Power degree from the United States Navy, in which he served as a pilot, nuclear engineer and project engineer. Jerry is also an adjunct assistant professor at Drexel University and an adjunct professor at NOVA Southeastern University. He can be reached at jsmith@symphonysv.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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