Three Ways to Find Fresh IT Ideas on the Cheap

How to learn about emerging technologies without spending lots of time or money

Discovering IT innovations that you can apply to your business can be a disorganized and frustrating process. The hottest technology may be inappropriate for your business needs. It’s time-consuming to identify and validate new technology with limited IT resources. In addition, traditional ways to learn about useful technologies, such as IT conferences and research reports, may not provide enough proven ideas that are good matches for your business needs.

It’s time to get creative. Here are three ways to uncover innovative ideas without spending much time or money:

Visit Venture Capitalists

In order to place the right bets on emerging software and infrastructure innovations, venture firms specialize in investigating IT trends and networking with innovators. Talking with CIOs—who are potential customers of the companies the firms fund—helps them understand market needs and make better investment decisions.

Investors at small venture firms in your region may be more available for informal chats and meetings than those at large or well-known ones. Some companies, such as Globespan Capital, even have CIO advisory boards that meet regularly to review and discuss IT innovations. As a member of such boards, you can not only get updates on emerging technologies, you can also learn from your peers who have piloted them. In this way, you can efficiently focus on proven technologies that have a better chance of being deployed successfully in your organization.

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