What once was a nice aspiration has now become a must-have for a lot of companies. I’m talking, of course, about innovation. In today’s day and age (and especially ever since the pandemic hit), the ability to adapt to new challenges has become essential. Adjusting workflows, products, and services, releasing new products to meet new demands, and adopting new approaches to doing business are now requirements for all companies.
What’s more, the new landscape doesn’t just require that innovation—it demands it at the fastest possible pace. That’s why so many businesses are now rushing to implement new technologies—they are trying to keep up.
Unfortunately, those hurried attempts can be more harmful than beneficial. How come? Because many companies focus on speed above everything else, which sometimes means sacrificing essentials like security, privacy, or scalability. Prioritizing velocity over everything can also lead to vendor lock-in or to extensive technical debt that becomes almost impossible to pay later on.
Sure, businesses rushing tech adoption might have digital solutions earlier than the rest. But without taking care of those sacrifices, they end up having negative consequences in the long term, including rigid technology, lost productivity, and, ultimately, reduced flexibility—exactly the opposite of what companies need to thrive right now!
I’m not trying to say that companies should move at any pace they want with their tech innovation. On the contrary, they need to be as fast as possible with it, but just not to the detriment of other important qualities of that process. That’s a tough balance to achieve, but it’s certainly not impossible, especially if you follow the suggestions below.
Embrace Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Computing
To truly develop your digital capabilities in today’s landscape (innovatively and quickly), you’ll need the cloud by your side. Think about it. You can’t sit around to wait for a development team to build custom solutions for you, as that will take a long time. That’s why we here at BairesDev believe that the notion of digital acceleration is perfect for today’s context: it doesn’t push the custom development aside, but rather relies on the cloud to put an additional tech layer on top of that core transformation.
That way, you can still build your custom solutions to completely reimagine your operations from the core up, but you also have a quick transformation to start meeting current demands now. Embracing cloud computing, then, is the best way to leverage current digital solutions without waiting for lengthy development cycles to end. Doing that provides you with the infrastructure you need to innovate right now without sacrificing anything, as you are also simultaneously working on a more definitive and personalized solution.
It’s important to note that embracing cloud computing doesn’t mean embracing just any option. Different cloud providers offer different things, so you might as well research them before committing to one of them. In fact, you should consider using multiple clouds to avoid vendor lock-in while also leveraging their diverse capabilities. What’s more, if you have some local infrastructure to support those cloud offerings, you can empower your cloud strategy even more. That’s especially helpful if you have sensitive information that you need to keep secure and private.
Empower Your Engineering Teams
When it comes to digital acceleration and solutions, your innovation strategy relies almost exclusively on your engineering talent. Yet, a lot of companies still stress their engineering talent by pressuring them to be quick, innovative, and high-performing without any compromise. That’s a recipe for disaster right there. If you do that, your engineers will quickly burn out, which, in turn, will make them lose productivity and make more mistakes.
That’s why you need to take your engineering team’s feedback seriously and inform your decisions with it. That means understanding how you can contribute to making their work better while also paying attention to their opinions on your approach to all innovation activities. You might find that you need to review schedules, tackle different projects, or adjust workflows.
That can also mean providing your engineers with new resources to increase their productivity and efficiency. For innovation to thrive, engineering teams need the best tools on the market for the job at hand. Also, they might need additional talent to lend them a hand with specific aspects of your projects. If that’s the case, you can always hire new staff or use staff augmentation services to hire temporary help. Whatever road you take, remember that aiming for a diverse team always boosts innovation.
Make Privacy, Security, and Scalability Your Priorities
There’s a sentiment floating around that has companies innovating quickly without thinking twice about privacy, security, or even the future in the mid and long term. That “move quick and break things” mindset is solely focused on speedy delivery of solutions to satisfy new needs and provide innovative services. The problem is that privacy, security, and scalability can’t be treated like secondary features that can be sacrificed.
People today demand quick innovations, but they never want them at the expense of their privacy or security. While it’s true that building security and privacy features into the solutions can slow development down a bit, the consequences of not developing those features in the first place can be disastrous. What’s better: an immediate innovation that has multiple vulnerabilities or an innovation a month from now that has more robust security in place?
I could say a similar thing about scalability. Innovating for today without a second thought for tomorrow can quickly render those innovations useless. That’s because a solution without solid foundations and a robust architecture might be problematic to adjust later on. Imagine you release an innovative solution that gets extremely popular and forces you to scale. If you don’t have the proper foundations, you’ll have to rework the entire solution and lose more time than you would have lost if you had developed it with scalability in mind in the first place.
You Need To Go Faster—but Not That Fast
What you should take away from all this is that speed is an important factor when it comes to developing innovative solutions, but it’s far from being the only one. The best solutions around are the ones that bring new features and possibilities without sacrificing quality, privacy, security, and scalability.
It’s true that getting all those things right will take more time than what it will take if you ignore them, but that’s all right. You need to move fast but not so fast that you lose sight of the important things related to innovation.
Fortunately, you have several ways to do so: Empowering your team, leveraging the cloud, and establishing clear priorities are some of them. Surely there are more, but going for them is the best start in achieving the right speed for your innovation efforts without sacrificing anything important.