Technology and equipment has always played a key role in business innovation. However, as technological advancements are only increasing the further we move into the 21st century, it’s now more important than ever for a business looking to innovate to be on top of the latest tech and state-of-the-art equipment.

What is innovation in business?

Innovation in business means an advancement, change or improvement in the processes, operations or services of the company itself. This can range from the type of equipment used or general technological innovation across many aspects of the organisation’s daily operations. 

The term ‘technological innovation’ is generally used to refer to a product or process which undergoes a significant advancement or change in its underlying technology specifically. The more and more technological innovation shapes the market in general, the more important it is for businesses to innovate and incorporate such advances in kind. 

What are the different types of business innovation?

Disruptive Innovation

Innovations that are considered disruptive are those that make significant impacts on the way business is conducted. This can include technological innovations that drastically make certain aspects of business more affordable, simpler, quicker or more convenient than the current status quo. 

Incremental Innovation

By contrast, incremental innovation is a more gradual and nuanced form of change. Over time, the operations, processes, services or products undergo small but continuous improvement. In the short term the innovation may seem slight, but over time it can result in drastic changes. 

Sustaining Innovation

Sustaining innovation focuses mostly on making small, sustained improvements to a product, process or service to further cement and strengthen a business’s market position. This includes innovation focusing on improving or adding current aspects of the business, rather than ‘disrupting’ the status quo necessarily. 

Radical Innovation

This last form of radical innovation is focused on transforming entire industries altogether and even forging new, previously unrealised, markets. Technological innovation can be extremely radical as it offers businesses opportunities that simply did not exist prior and creates previously non-existence demand. 

Why is innovation an important aspect of business?

1. It can help solve complex problems

Business innovation is important for helping to solve complex problems that a business might face or significant challenges the market presents. As industries, markets, consumers and even other competitors change and innovate, it’s imperative that businesses invest in innovation likewise to maintain competitiveness. 

2. It increases productivity

Technological innovation does not always have to reinvent the wheel; it can often help to spin it even quicker. Improvements in the efficiency of resource usage, reduction in risks, costs and lost time/labour, and streamlining of processes and operations can all positively impact productivity. 

3. It introduces new opportunities for improvement

Businesses that continuously innovate are able to identify and capitalise on new opportunities in the market or in their particular industry. A focus on incorporating creative new solutions and novel business ideas will help ensure improvement in previously unknown ways. 

4. It helps provide a competitive advantage

Competitive advantages are critical for ensuring a business’s position in the market, especially crowded markets. Through business innovation, an organisation can best distinguish itself from competitors and stand out in the eyes of consumers. Whether to increase market share or simply strengthen a current position, maintaining a competitive advantage is an ongoing process and commitment. 

5. It can reduce cost and therefore increase revenue

While we briefly referred to this benefit in the productivity section, business innovation can help carve out unique opportunities for increasing revenue by also helping to minimise costs. Whether the technological innovation simply allows for more streamlined processes or the changes directly reduce expenditure, both are important for improving a business’s bottom line. 

What is the role of new technology and equipment in business innovation?

There are many ways in which a business can innovate, but incorporating new technology and investing in new equipment may be one of the most commonly executed ways of improving and changing an organisation.

Communication and collaboration through technology 

Both communication and collaboration have been essential components of workplaces for long before technological innovation started advancing at its modern rate.

Nonetheless, with more remote and hybrid work arrangements, more globalisation than ever, and a greater need for agility, fast decision making and operational speed, communication and collaboration have never been more essential. 

Whether the technology being used is focused on working collaboratively on the same cloud-stored documents, tracking project process in online management software or cross-location conferencing technology through programs like Zoom, new technology can smoothen and improve communication and collaboration. 

Productivity and efficiency through automation

As mentioned above, innovation in general can improve a business’s productivity. More specifically, newer equipment models or technology can allow for more automation of tasks. Even in businesses that seem relatively immune to being automated, drastic technological innovation can carve unique opportunities never before considered possible. 

When it comes to equipment and machinery, technological innovation can prove to improve productivity in terms of output, speed and decrease the time and cost of downtime. All of this business innovation only goes to improve efficiency and drive up productivity. 

Greater data access

Big data analysis is another increasingly essential component of modern business’s operation. With greater abilities to collect, store and analyse vast swathes of information, businesses of all kinds are discovering a need to innovate to ensure they are able to keep up with the movements of the market and the economy. 

From data gathering tools to visualisation software, and even privacy and security innovations, there’s a wide range of different technologies a business can and should be benefiting from. 

More agility and flexibility

Businesses that are able to be agile and flexible in the face of either sudden market shifts or uncertainty will be more sustainable and profitable in the long run. Technological innovation plays a key role in this. With creative new solutions to everything from communication to real-time data analysis, businesses are better able to make informed decisions and action those decisions as quickly and effectively as possible.  

Employee wellbeing

Improving employee wellbeing and overall satisfaction of your labour force is more than just part of your corporate social responsibility. It’s an effective way of ensuring sustained productivity and minimised operational disruption. Happier employees mean more engaged employees, and technology and equipment can play a central role in ensuring employees are well taken care of. 

New equipment can make work more enjoyable, less stressful or more comfortable. Technology can provide employees access to a wide range of benefits. And communication software can foster a sense of connection and community, both of which are essential for workers’ wellbeing.

Technological advancements are allowing businesses to optimise working conditions in many ways without compromising on output or productivity.  

Fostering more innovation

Innovative technology and equipment has the added benefit of contributing to a positive feedback loop. The more integrated innovation is in a business, the more encouraged and inspired your team will be to drive additional innovation.

A culture of innovation can be invaluable for ensuring a business’s growth as its employees are motivated to identify, respond and react to changes in the market.

ScotPac – fast, flexible and innovative business solutions

Would you like to discuss why innovation may be important for your business? Are you looking for fast and flexible funding solutions to help grow your business? 

Contact the team at ScotPac today to discover how we’re helping companies across Australia to drive forwards and upwards through unique business innovation and funding solutions.