Recently I have been out speaking with a number of organizations about the idea of the innovation lab concept , which I discussed in a previous blog post, as the way to unleash the power of big data and make even the largest of companies as agile as a start-up. During my discussions there are a couple of things that I am observing, that I wanted to share with you, since it seems there are different types of innovation labs in organizations:
- Many companies have something I am going to label an IT innovation lab where they are experimenting with “big data” technologies. These IT innovation labs are NOT the same as the “data related” innovation lab that companies need to put in place to remain agile in this new digital world. The focus of the IT innovation lab is to test the technology and its integration whereas the focus of the “data related” innovation lab is to test hypothesis around mashups of data and different analytical approaches In the digital world, information gleaned from data is your best competitive weapon, and speed is a critical component to your success. It is my opinion these should be separate and distinct in a companies strategy as each has a role to play. This post will focus on the tale of two labs and how they differ.
- Tight budgets, and the significantly different focus of the “data focused” innovation lab, are causing organizations to ask for support to obtain funding given it is generally a new concept to not have a concrete business problem solved as part of asking for an investment. A second post in this series will focus on how I suggest organizations can build the business case for the data focused innovation lab which I believe is vital to the future success of all organizations no matter how large or small they are.