No matter what your innovation strategy, and no matter the kind of innovations that strategy leads you to consider, you will inevitably have to accommodate information technology professionals at some time during the process.
Technology is, without a doubt, at the center of production and productivity in most industries, from those which are dominated by industrial age economics, to the emerging innovation economy companies that are presently taking the lead.
Because of this, information technology may either be considered a necessary evil preventing getting things done, or alternatively, a huge enabler of competitive advantage and worker productivity. Your perspective will likely depend on the way in which your IT organization deals with change on a daily basis.
Regardless of the way you perceive your technology group, there is one key thing that innovation teams will find impossible to avoid: the extreme emphasis that most IT groups place on minimizing change. There are good reasons for this behavior, though it is an anathema to innovators, whose whole role is to create productive, valuable change.
In information technology organizations, there will likely be change teams, in fact, whose sole role in life is to make it as hard as possible to change anything. They will rationalize their existence using lines such as “we are here to protect service” or “up-time is our number one priority”. And for those times when change is impossible to avoid there will be a number of gates and governance processes in places designed to make things as difficult as possible. At least, from the perspective of innovators, that is.
For most innovation teams, rigorous focus on the disciplines of innovation management are a positive way to manage IT folk in an organization. Innovation management provides tools and processes that are helpful in demonstrating the value of change to technologists, and enable the team to show that such change is in the best interests of the organization as well as IT.