In corporate parlance, when someone says they "own" something it means two things. First, the person who made the statement is taking responsibility for some aspect of a company's operation. ("He owns product marketing,” or “She owns sales development,” for example).
This declaration also signifies that person agrees to be accountable for the performance of whatever is owned.
As technology moves forward on the wings of such exciting concepts as IoT, Big Data, Cloud solutions and Digital Transformation, we at Hitachi Data Systems own the importance of maintaining our focus on two long-standing principles.
First, we realize that innovation must be continuous and done with the idea of helping our customers move forward. Secondly, we believe it is critical to give customers the information they need to understand our technology and how it can best serve them. We want them to feel confident they can make good decisions about acquiring our products based on the information we share with them. (Emphasis mine).
These may sound like Captain Obvious talking points, but companies have suffered tremendous losses by failing to realize that great technology should be developed with the goal of making their customers great - first.
Often, websites for technology companies feature layouts which are hard to navigate for anyone who is not an engineer, developer or possesses a deep knowledge of technology. However, products for many of these companies’ have wide-ranging applications across multiple industry verticals. Yet they focus on presenting product details instead of discussing the results those products can produce.
Of course, the market is interested in the innovations solutions feature to support high value functionality, such as high availability (HA), flash storage, quick deployment, etc. Yet what prospective customers are most interested in is the answer they receive to one timeless question: “what can it (product/ service) do for me?”
Often, companies considering enterprise technology acquisitions will first seek input from their stakeholder groups including engineers and developers, line-of-business people, those in finance, and the people who will be using the application daily. And though many in these groups are not tech experts, they all may be able to influence their organization’s decision-making. Technology providers lacking this expansive view will find their bottom lines narrowing.
In the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) Economics Justification white paper, a section titled “Bespoke Engineering” discusses how IT teams were - and in some cases still are - so absorbed with developing the latest and greatest technology they overlooked their companies’ best interests.
“…Engineering teams still working with this traditional model of operation are in a constant cycle of certification and testing for new hardware, building and maintaining interoperability matrices to track all of the hardware deployed in their environment. This challenge is a thankless task, made worse when there are no policies in place for technology refresh; ageing servers and applications can hold up the decommissioning of associated hardware (like storage) and result in huge costs for extended maintenance and support.” (Bespoke Engineering, Page 3, Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) Economics Justification, the Edison Group, 2016).
At the annual Oracle Open World technology extravaganza, Monday, September 18-22, San Francisco, CA, you’ll see HDS describing in full detail how its solutions work in concert with those from its long-time partner Oracle to make a difference for our customers.
Discussions about partnership alliances, solutions, applications and related information will be delivered to multiple groups in a way each understands. Engineers and developers, for example, will hear about the deep technical aspects of the solutions, while line-of-business people could learn how the technology shortens their time to market. These discussions will be supported by collateral, presentations, web sites, community pages and accessibility to key individuals from the companies to ensure the required information is conveyed.
Just passing along a tech information dump and hoping people trust what they read is not enough to interest today’s forward-leaning organizations searching for solutions that will support their need for continuous advancement.
The requirements to develop technology that meets peoples’ needs and explain what it does in clear terms is the basis of the Social Innovation concept. The Stanford University Graduate School of Business defines social innovation as:
“A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals.” (Stanford University Graduate School of Business – Center for Social Innovation).
While Kevin Eggleston, Senior Vice President, social innovation and global industries for HDS, offers a simple, yet insightful, definition of Social Innovation as our company sees it.
“I get a lot of questions about what we mean by social innovation,” says Eggleston. “It is what we call our Internet of Things and big data strategy—with a focus on the Internet of Things that matter and make a real difference." (Social Innovation the Business of Security, Security and Health, Forbes Insights, with HDS, 2016).