Can you outsource innovation?

I was at an interesting event the other night with IT executives within finance firms. The subject of the meeting was innovation.

The meeting was the first Computer Weekly CW500 in the City, a spin-off from the CW500 club where CIOs from all sectors get together to hear presentations on current issues and discuss them in depth.

It seems innovating in the finance sector is very challenging because companies are constantly afraid of breaking the regulatory rules.

Anyway there were some interesting outsourcing angles suggested by speakers and the audience during conversation. One that was that you cannot depend on consultants for innovation because they are not close enough to the company and don’t understand it enough to be truly innovative. The fact that consultants are unable to provide innovation means businesses have to look internally for innovation. But this is really difficult. For example as soon as you make being innovative part of a job description you would put immense pressure on staff.

But there is hope for outsourcing innovation through small companies. Attendees at the event talked about how small companies are more able to innovate because they do not face the same regulatory requirements. These companies can be partnered of a big business wants innovation.

Big businesses could even acquire innovation by taking over small companies.
Wherever the business innovation comes from the IT departments in businesses must be ready to support it.

What are your thoughts on this? Can you outsource innovation?

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