Innovation at the heart of business models to transform the industry

Today, even more than yesterday, transformation is on everyone’s lips. It is not only a question of operational transformation of our means of production, but also of a restructuring of its business model. In a broad sense, we can even talk about innovation. Innovation and transformation are two complementary demands that often live off each other. In these turbulent times, the digital age is only accelerating the pace of change and increasing the need to reinvent ourselves.

Innovation in the development of new business models?

We live in a state of constant and above all exponential development. Therefore, the challenge for any business is to be able to “synchronize” with its ecosystem and therefore provide itself with the means to accelerate adoption and upscaling. This is essential for any business because digital transformation affects everyone, from competitors to suppliers and customers.

Clearly, the pillars of Industry 4.0 are essential. Big Data, Data science and IoT / IIOT technologies are at the service of business intelligence to analyze its internal and external ecosystem and help it rethink or imagine new business models (and its procedures). Information (including data) is the core of all exchanges between all players. It is still necessary to know how to predict and master the technologies and have data to utilize and analyze that most CIOs are working to get in place.

The digital strategy is a variation of the company’s strategy, it must give companies and operating staff the opportunity to address this transformation and give them a key to innovation. But contrary to what some claim, these technological pillars in Industry 4.0 are not the only means capable of producing this leverage effect. Moreover, they are far from sufficient today to allow the acceleration of the transformation of business models.

Also renew the company’s organization and way of thinking

It would be counterproductive to limit oneself to a simple vision of data analysis and competitive intelligence as the only action element to initiate the transformation of a business. Industry 4.0 is not limited to data collection to naturally trigger transformation of the enterprise. It is necessary to run other sources so that an organization can really set the process in motion. Because innovation cannot be decreed, it is cultivated.

Businesses need to be prepared to move away from routine thinking and behavior. They need to create the conditions for evolving quickly in order to adapt almost instantly. Business organizations need to change their “mindset” and think “cooperatively”: unity is strength. Not only must stakeholders gather around the implementation of a new solution, but even more so around identifying the problem in the first place and creating the most optimal way to solve it.

It is also developing agility, though the expression has become a little too fashionable. This performance should be seen as the ability to solve new problems in a short (and iterative) period. This requires acceptance of the risk on the part of the company on a project, a risk always controlled by the teams (the principle of Fail fast), but also acceptance of failure. Unfortunately, it is still a “taboo” word in France.

It is also necessary to facilitate change management. It is crucial to encourage its teams to develop new skills, to collaborate horizontally and vertically in the company layer, to develop listening and observation.
And finally, test … test again and again, by small touches, again iteratively. An approach that can be described as a step-by-step approach. Testing a new business model in a defined area for a “test” product makes it possible to exploit market boundaries and opportunities.

Whether it is to deal with operational efficiency or the creation of new business models, digital transformation can only happen if we produce technical, managerial and human change. With regard to the latter, this necessarily implies a transformation of his way of thinking, otherwise new technologies will bring nothing. In addition to this recipe, it is the entire corporate culture that needs to be dismantled and the famous Anglo-Saxon “think out of the box” developed to pave the way for innovation. This ability to imagine is inherent in human nature, you just have to (re) give it the conditions of origin.

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