With the sheer amount of time given to the discussion of business innovation every day in the corporate world, you’d think that by now we must’ve figured it all out, right?
By my thoroughly unscientific estimate we’ve spent exponentially more time talking about innovation in the last 20 years than we did putting a man on the moon in the 1960s, but somehow genuine innovation remains vastly more elusive. Perhaps that’s why we all get so excited when we see it (“The Snuggie!?!? A blanket with arms?!?!?!? What will they think of next?!?!?”)
And why is innovation so difficult? Obviously, there are lots of valid reasons. Some say it’s a question of resources. Others say it’s about risk. There’s a good case to be made for each, as well as many other factors, but there’s one angle to the innovation discussion that doesn’t get as much attention as it should—integration.
And that’s unfortunate, because integration and innovation are connected in important ways that often go overlooked. That’s because, while we often view business innovation in light of the people who generated the idea, what we frequently miss is the driving force below the surface that often brings those people and those ideas together. Increasingly, that force is driven by integration—applications, data, and devices in the cloud or on premises—that builds the kind of collaboration that’s such a hallmark of innovative companies. As integration opens up the flow of information from separate applications across the organization (as well as outside) it creates a hub of intelligence across different business units, not only increasing collaboration but also the speed with which teams can act. That kind of agility enables organizations to respond to customer demands in real time with innovative offerings.
Of course, bringing together the various components necessary to make this collaboration happen has its own challenges, simply because integration and innovation just aren’t natural by-products of how businesses are organized today. Structure, processes, explicit or implied rules—despite their good intentions—actually end up stifling ideas, especially at larger companies. Similarly, how many times have we seen organizations choose to invest in existing systems and infrastructures, rather than move forward with integrations that could drive efficiency, cost savings, greater innovation for customers?
Compounding that integration challenge is the explosive growth of SaaS applications, mobile devices and the absolute flood of data from the Internet of Things. To keep pace, a new approach to integration is needed—one that involves an integration platform as a service via the cloud. Rapidly connecting SaaS applications with on-premises systems, empowering users across the enterprise to effectively drive innovation, and supporting changing business needs by enabling integration projects to be moved easily between cloud-based and on-premises integration platforms, Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration offers just such an approach. For example, Calix, a leading provider of broadband communications access systems and software, used Oracle Integration Cloud Service to complete 24 integrations in less than three weeks, enabling them to support continual innovation and realize significant IT savings.
To learn more about how Oracle’s cloud-based integration services stress simplicity, with process automation solutions that unlock innovation through faster time-to-market and agility, click here.
Paul Way is senior principal product marketing director for Oracle Cloud Platform.