A topic of particular interest to me is the impact of innovation on a technology service company. Raising questions in my mind, such as:
Is innovation really beneficial to the company?
Are there different types of innovation that have more benefit than others?
Are there innovation approaches that are beneficial to the technology service company?
While considering these questions, an additional one popped into my head.
What is a technology service company?
There are several descriptions I have come across, such as
I must say that the number of descriptions can be confusing.
The description that most appealed to me comes from a study "‘Knowledge-intensive business services" done in 1995. This study has formed the basis for a multitude of studies, some still conducted today.
In this definition, technology service companies form part of a group of companies called Knowledge-Intensive Business Services.
I love the idea of "Knowledge Intensive"; it resonates with the inner geek in me.
Some characteristics of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services:
There is deep reliance on professional knowledge; this knowledge can be in systems integration all the way to computer services and beyond.
These companies are sources of information and knowledge, such as bringing new technology and technology services to the market.
They innovate and create using the knowledge they have to bring solutions to customers, such as applying technology to solve business problems. This resonates with me as I have been involved in doing this for 20 years.
Having the ability for the company to be critical to the competitiveness of its customers
Working closely with their customers by understanding their sectors and applying technology to these sectors
Their employees are knowledgeable and high impact appliers of knowledge; they have the ability to absorb knowledge from many sources such as customers, suppliers, internally and even from competitions.
Innovation in technology services
Innovation in technology services companies can take many forms. However, a key element is innovating on services and service provision. This includes process innovation such as automation and efficiencies, services innovation such as managed service and product innovation creating products by combining technology, processes and services.
Some sources of innovation mentioned in the study that I have found to be true, based on having been responsible for an innovation portfolio are, innovation comes from deep collaboration and co-creating with customers.
This can be done by harvesting from project engagements or building with customers. You can do the same with suppliers that you rely on. Primarily focused on solving current issues. So topics like security, remote work, privacy are current examples
. Unlike manufacturing companies, having an isolated or even dedicated research and development department has a limited impact on technology services innovation.
While I have been in this sector of the market for a long time, the excitement and energy that it brings keep me as inspired as I was on the first day entering this game.
Miles, I., Kastrinos, N., Flanagan, K., Bilderbeek, R., Den Hertog, P., Huntink, W. and Bouman, M., 1995. Knowledge-intensive business services. EIMS publication, 15, pp.25-90. download the pdf here: (http://innoblog.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/KIBS-DG13.pdf)