Technological innovation is the process of significantly replacing old products and services using new technologies. Technological innovations can improve product quality, simplicity of operation, productivity of an organization, or the overall competitiveness of an industry.
Why is technological innovation important? And why should your organization promote innovative thinking? Let’s explore the importance of technological innovation by exploring its effects on industries, consumers, the environment and individual organizations.
Without the technological invention to jump from frog to market, markets would become less competitive and increasingly monopolistic.
Take the taxi industry in New York as an example (read: cautionary tale). The lack of technological innovation before the advent of ride-sharing led to market concentration and stagnation. A few businesses ran the market, and none of them got much incentive to improve their offer. Then came Uber – a promising, industry-leading technological innovation. And we all know how it turned out. On the plus side: Yellow Taxi recently made a comeback to the partnership with Rideshared.
Growing Alongside Consumer Expectations
Consumers expect improvements in products and services. When an industry is stagnant for too long, it opens itself up to technological innovation. Furthermore, in an age of unprecedented access to information, consumers expect industries to be cleaner, more suited to diverse consumer preferences, and – importantly – easier to use.
Technological innovation can alleviate these consumer frustrations, and help industries grow in line with consumer expectations. Take Noble, for example, a modern real estate marketplace that “introduces transparency, accountability and simplicity” into the home buying and selling process. Regan McGee, CEO of the platform, believes that “the confluence of technological innovations is the best time to break the deadlock in real estate”, which has once again turned the cage industry into a more user-oriented enterprise.
Technological innovation not only meets customer expectations and operational efficiency. This also applies to environmental concerns – and often does.
Recently, we have seen advances in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that reduces the carbon footprint of power plants. These technologies were prohibitively expensive to set up and implement, but recent inventions such as Nano-sponges and metallic organic frameworks (complex to describe in this article) have democratized CCS for many small plants. ۔ ۔ Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute, called it “an excellent technology for providing truly equitable change for many fossil fuel-based communities.”
So far, we’ve explored the broader importance of technological innovation – how it benefits societies and markets at large. But if you reduce your focus on the internal, organizational level, you begin to see more benefits.
Technological innovations have already improved operational efficiency, seamless inter-office communication, and productivity. Take a look at the current slate of data-driven project management tools, VR-powered employee engagement platforms and more.
Technological innovation is needed at the organizational, industrial and social levels. It represents the best thing human beings have to offer – what is possible, and what is impossible.