I would like to recommend "IT Innovation: What It Is and How to Get More of It" pluralsight course. I selected it because I wanted to listen to something during my training. To my surprise even though it was relatively short (around 90mins) it provided a very useful model for IT innovation.
The model author proposed is called "i3". Innovation cycle consists of three parts:
- Idea - some original concept not yet implemented in the industry
- Implementation - bringing the idea to usable state, creating a product or preparing some service
- Infusion - a critical part of the innovation cycle, in which product or service is successfully deployed to users. May consist of sales, marketing, evangelism, deployment, legal matters and so on.
Even that part of the model alone is worthwhile because it clearly states that innovation may be successful only if the innovation is effectively used by the final users. All of us have probably seen numerous times how theoretically good ideas or products did not have any real impact because they were never deployed to users(no sales, legal problems etc.).
This issue may not be universally known and for sure is not universally avoided in the industry, but I have met many people that understood it well. What surprised me most is the second part of the model, which describes a simple idea I have never seen discussed explicitly.
The author states that IT innovation can be successful only if it consists of two full innovation cycles. First innovation cycle is technical (for example Hadoop, WebSockets, MongoDB) while second is closely related to business. Both are critical. We can imagine that great technologies like WebSockets would have no impact if nobody had a business case for them.
Popular examples of successful IT innovations in this model are:
- Asymmetric encryption schemes and its e-commerce application
- PageRank and its application in the advertising industry
- Machine learning and its application to shops recommendation engines
The biggest insight I got from the course is that if you plan on doing any IT innovation, you should clearly think and plan each phase of each innovation cycle. Technical and business parts are equally important. Neglecting the "infusion" part may deem whole effort on product or service wasted.