Innovation Labs by BairesDev

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Corporate Innovation Lab: What Is It?

At one point or another, all growing businesses will run into the same problem: a lack of agility. This is only natural, as a higher staff count and a stronger commitment to a business model can force any company into sticking to its own status quo. However, that same lack of agility is a straight path to lack of innovation—and, in our current innovation-driven market, such a risk isn’t worth taking. 

That’s where Innovation Labs come in. Since the early 2000s, Innovation Labs have allowed growing companies to keep their ideas fresh and drive new concepts that increase their relevance and competitiveness. These small business units employ agile methodologies to accelerate innovation and introduce creative tech-driven processes that often disrupt the “usual” way of doing things. 

There has never been a time as good as now for implementing your own Innovation Lab, especially when you can have the best engineers in the industry on your team. When you partner with BairesDev, you get access to custom-built teams of innovators, all coming from the Top 1% of IT Talent. Our Innovation Labs service is designed to revamp your digital acceleration and generate groundbreaking ideas, products, and services in your industry. Send us a message and we can get started on reinventing your business!

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What Do Innovation Labs Do?

Simply put, Innovation Labs do anything they need to do to seize innovative opportunities. They are in a constant state of brainstorming to drive ideation and disruptive developments, while the rest of your team maintains business output doing what they know. Think of Innovation Labs as small startups within your company whose sole purpose is to drive value by thinking outside the box. 

Think of Innovation Labs as small startups within your company whose sole purpose is to drive value by thinking outside the box.

Innovation Labs also conduct any market research necessary to understand and measure the potential of disruptive ideas. This includes the development of test scenarios and prototypes that accurately illustrate the results of committing to a certain type of innovation, as well as a clear roadmap of the steps needed to reach the goal. 

And, when the time comes for execution, an Innovation Lab will iterate over all tasks needed to turn an idea into reality until it’s fully integrated with your business. To achieve this, BairesDev’s Innovation Labs are always built based on your needs and goals. We create cross-functional teams of expert engineers and entrepreneurs with no talent or expertise gaps in them, giving you an all-in-one solution made exclusively for you. 

How We Run Innovation Labs

For us, Innovation Labs are a whole lot more than a group of cool people with cool ideas. As a leading technology solutions company in the US and Latin America, we understand the real value of approaching innovation with a well-thought plan, a reasonable budget, and clear goals. Here’s what makes our Innovation Labs service unique.

Talent

At BairesDev, we hire only the Top 1% of IT Talent. We know that to get the best results in tech, you need the best and most talented people there are. And, thanks to our proprietary staffing suite, Staffing Hero™, we are able to use cutting-edge technology to rapidly build tailored-fit Innovation Teams that perfectly match the needs of your company. 

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Diversity

We’ve said it a thousand times and will say it again: innovation is driven by diversity. As one of the most diverse companies in the US, we’re proud to have an incredible team of people coming from all kinds of backgrounds, industries, and experiences. And, because we’re extremely diverse, we’re always able to build tailored-fit teams of expert engineers and innovators with no talent gaps. 

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Agility

When it comes to innovation, there’s no time to lose. We run on agile methodologies and a design thinking mindset to keep our minds on the sky and our feet on the ground. Using an iterative approach to software development, we’re able to rapidly and consistently develop, test, deploy, and maintain the highest-quality software solutions. 

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Purpose

All innovation must follow a purpose. Otherwise, there is no reason to innovate at all. We make great efforts to listen, understand, and help you define exactly what your company needs in terms of tech and innovation. Whether it comes to creating a new product, improving business processes, adopting a new client focus, or even entering a whole new market, we will help you draw a detailed roadmap of where you are now and how you can get to where you want to be.

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What Kinds of Companies Need Innovation Labs?

Innovation Labs are most useful for established companies that have started to turn stale in terms of efficiency and new business opportunities. This is also the moment when the organization stops being a startup, and thus loses a significant part of the agility and “hunger” for disruption that characterizes smaller companies. 

Today, Innovation Labs have become a commonplace strategy for companies and enterprises across every industry. In fact, huge verticals like telecom, finance, healthcare, technology, energy, and transportation have been using Innovation Labs for years now. Many of the business models, products, and services available today are the result of their commitment to innovation (a few examples are listed below). 

All in all, most innovation specialists will agree on the following: corporate innovation is critical for any company looking to stay relevant in the era of disruption. Innovation Labs provide a safe and efficient place where creative minds can focus on ideas that redefine the status quo—and those are the very same ideas that make market-leading companies.

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3 Companies That Thrive On Innovation Labs

Let’s take a look at how Innovation Labs work out in the real world.

Google – X

If there’s a company that is especially interested in taking moonshots from concept to reality, it’s Google. That’s why in January of 2010, the tech giant founded X (formerly known as Google X), their own research and development facility focused on creating groundbreaking technology—a.k.a., an Innovation Lab. 

X is run by a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who believe in the potential of radically reimagining possibilities. Recently, X released a new version of Google Glass designed to make IoT technology more accessible to manual workers. In the future, X will continue focusing most of its efforts on tackling intractable issues like clean energy and connectivity. 

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Amazon – Lab126

Amazon’s Lab126 is one of the earliest and most impactful Innovation Labs in history. Lab126 was founded in 2003 under one simple philosophy: to “reinvent the book”. In fact, you might be very familiar with one of its greatest successes, the 2007 Kindle (which, by the way, sold out in just 5.5 hours on the day of its release). 

Believe it or not, there was a time when reading books from a computer screen wasn’t common culture. Lab126 had the courage to use modern technology to create something that literally changed the way people read. Today, Lab126 is working hard on scaling innovation under Amazon’s Fire TVs, tables, and the Amazon Echo. 

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Volkswagen – VAIL

As one of the leading Innovation Labs in the automotive industry, the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) is working hard on inventing the cars of the future. And, yes, that includes electric and driverless cars. Located in the heart of Stanford University, VAIL was the first Innovation Lab in the industry after its foundation in 2005. 

In fact, VAIL was a pioneer of autonomous vehicles, marked by the exciting achievement of a Volkswagen Touareg SUV driving itself over 100 miles of desert in 2005. Since then, VAIL has been hiring the best experts on machine learning and solar power technology to push the boundaries of driverless vehicles—and they’ve got a lot of things coming

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs on Innovation Labs!

Most startups are born thanks to a disruptive idea that can change the way a market or an industry behaves. Innovation and perseverance are what drive startups like these to explore the possibilities of their disruptive idea, and their relatively short size and lifetime give them the flexibility to evolve and pivot with the circumstances. 

Once these startups achieve an established position in the market and become full-blown companies, new startups will get the chance to start the cycle again. All of that shows us that innovation becomes difficult for companies when their own business model starts getting in the way of strategic transformation and agility. 

That’s the reason why Innovation Labs have become such a popular choice for growing and established companies determined to stay relevant in the face of disruptive innovation. While innovation can be difficult, implementing an Innovation Lab with a strong team of talented and creative people is the best way to get on top of it. 

They certainly do. Thousands of companies make use of Innovation Labs to keep up with trends and stay relevant in their market. Google, Amazon, Verizon, Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, Nike, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Visa, Sephora, Starbucks, and many others have been running their own Innovation Labs for years. 

That said, every Innovation Lab is unique, and the way other companies use Innovation Labs might be very different from what would work best for your company. If you want to actually understand how an Innovation Lab could work out in your case, send us a message, and a BairesDev Innovation Specialist will get in touch with you right away.

There are many theories out there regarding the different types of innovation there are. From our perspective as a technology solutions company, we believe that there are four main types of innovation:

  • Incremental Innovation: This is the most basic type of innovation and one that most companies run into just by doing their day-to-day operations. Incremental innovation means using your current technology and knowledge to generate added value within your current market. This includes things like adding new features to a product or simplifying a process to enhance the User Experience. 
  • Disruptive Innovation: Disruptive innovation is the type of innovation that impacts industries and markets most significantly and most frequently. Being disruptive implies making the most out of existing technology to seize new opportunities within your industry. In this day and age, disruptive innovation is what makes or breaks market-leading companies around the world. 
  • Architectural Innovation: Innovative advancements in one field can often inspire companies from an entirely different vertical to adopt new technologies and practices. This is what’s known as architectural innovation, and it’s one of the most reliable types of innovation there are. After all, it isn’t hard to argue that repurposing innovation from one industry to another carries less risk than starting from scratch. 
  • Radical Innovation: Finally, there is radical innovation. This is the most drastic type of innovation, as it involves creating whole new industries or markets thanks to the use of revolutionary technology. The smartphone, blockchain, and social media are all types of radical innovations that changed the world as we knew it.

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