IT’s new ROI: Return on innovation

CIOs struggle to temper business expectations of 100 percent innovation success with the realities. Here’s how to foster a healthy innovation outlook.

After years of leading Colliers International through its digital transformation and dealing with the pressure to create new business solutions quickly, CIO Mihai Strusievici has come to a troubling conclusion: “We can create applications very fast, but our business partners may have expectations that if you do it fast, that you also got it right on the first attempt,” Strusievici says. “Iteration is harder to accept than one would believe.”

As the global real estate services company continued to advance its business strategy, business leaders keep pushing for the same agility from IT. But the team faced challenges when innovation was taken from theory and into practice. Business leaders have grown frustrated with what they consider to be half-cooked ideas, and that worries Strusievici. “I don’t know if the [internal conflict] will emerge as creative energy, or if it will bring [innovation] to its knees out of fatigue.”

He’s not alone. It’s just one of many challenges that CIOs face when measuring the new ROI — return on innovation.

CIOs are being looked to more than ever to create business solutions that add revenue or business value, and this is creating a need to get returns on pilot projects at a faster, more conspicuous rate.

IDC predicts that by 2022, up to 80 percent of revenue growth will depend on digital offerings and operations. This bolsters the perception that there is little or no wiggle room when it comes to project failure or apparent tolerance for the quick and simple.

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