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The Changing Nature of Innovation in the Digital Age

The nature of innovation changes along with mainstream technologies and their applications across industries. In the digital age, innovation carries different meaning and impact, touching various aspects of organizational operations and development strategies.

The prevalence of digital technologies and blooming digital businesses have transformed the very nature of innovation, and new business models that technology enables. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently published a report on the global information technology, highlighting the ways digital revolution has changed the nature of innovation.

There are three main areas where the nature of innovation has been changed as a result of the direct impact of the digital revolution: R&D, product and process innovation, business model innovation. In addition to that, digital technology has had an indirect impact on the market structure and competitive environment, changing the incentives of incumbents to innovate: increased market size, reduced barriers to entry and acquisition and leverage of the knowledge of consumer preferences.

As WEF also outlines, In addition to increasing competitive pressures from new forms of innovation, the central position of networks in this emerging industrial landscape is dramatically changing the rules of the game for companies across sectors: a key implication for businesses is that the ability to scale fast is starting to become a precondition for innovation success

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