The era of #corpovation... by Maarten Ectors

Software is eating the world. Startups become unicorns overnight. Tech giants move into any industry. Autonomous cars make diesel irrelevant. Alternative sources of energy. Smart everything. Data abundance. We are in the middle of a technology revolution. One new concept, however, is corporations starting to imitate best practices of startups and tech giants. Corporate innovation is no longer done by an R&D unit that is separated from the main business.

Enterprise delivery teams are moving to the public cloud and working on mobile apps. Waterfall is being substituted by agile and DevOps. The brave are embracing continuous deployment, machine learning, blockchain, internet of things, big data and more. Large companies are starting to buy services from small startups or to collaborate with them. We are getting into the era of #corpovation.

In the next ten years we are likely to see those corporations that are brave and adapt, survive and grow whereas laggards will shrink or likely disappear. Data is the new gold. Innovation at scale is fast becoming the key to market dominance. Top management will not sit back and watch how technology makes the cashcows irrelevant.

We are moving into the era of hyper-corporate innovation. Lots of new products and services will be offered via apps, SaaS, voice or in other exciting ways. The time an enterprise has to make money from an existing product will shrink dramatically. Corpovation will mean that the art of launching new successful products will become paramount to sustainable growth.

Corpovation will also bring new challenges. We will also see a talent war. Until now high-tech experts and innovation gurus would only find jobs in Silicon Valley. Those times are over. Each business will want to hire them. If there was a shortage of skills, it will only become worse. Automation will also mean that today’s job will be automated away tomorrow. Those employees that continuously make their own job irrelevant and move on to make the next job irrelevant will thrive. Fighting irrelevance will mean diminishing market value. Privacy, regulation, security will need most innovation.

The new era has started and innovation is no longer optional but the path towards success...


Maarten Ectors is a strategic innovator who exchanged working with the who is who of high tech to apply disruptive technology and business innovation from the inside in the top UK insurance and investment management company. In less than a year they won the best claim technology solution of the year award and that is just the start...