A New Wave of Open, More Social Digital Innovation?

So more open, social digital innovation is coming our way. So why do I say that? There are four aspects where technology will trend towards open to exploit our connected world that might offer up more opportunities to participate and explore. (see more on that here: https://digitalsocial.eu/)

We will be looking to extract ever-diminishing competitive advantage as the world just keeps speeding up, pushing us as technology continues to run ahead of our capacities to assimilate it. Collaborative platforms are clearly the way to go to open-up innovation that allows more radical and complex solutions to be provided. We need to find ways to participate and learn from these as we face greater competition for these diminishing natural resources, open collaboration is certainly one of these.

So we need to keep moving towards open and complex solutions that require us to become increasingly collaborative to let (many) others help us on the way as partners so as to exploit competitive advantage that is increasingly transitory.

The way we will go

1. Open networks – those innovative combinations of networks, which continue to evolve new solutions and infrastructures and are very rich in bottom-up potential. These open networks are extremely dynamic and diverse, full of experimental pioneers and as they work at the edges, the rest of us need to stay connected, as these open networks will continue to suppliant what we have on a constant, evolving basis.

2. Open data – This explosion of new types of data analytics and machine learning means we all will eventually have access to analyze vast amounts of data. As we innovate ways to capture, use, analyze and interpret open data coming from multiple sources we need to find its value for what we do. Open data policies will emerge from government, local authorities and (eventually) within our business organizations. We will need the tools and skills to interpret all the open data coming in to us from people, our networks and simply from the environment and world we belong too.

3. Open knowledge – We are in need of co-production of new knowledge. We need to learn more about adoptive capacity where you acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit knowledge from its potential to a realized value. There is a greater trend to mobilization based on open content, open source and open access so we can understand, absorb and make comment (or not). Knowledge must be allowed to flow openly to allow us to grow individually. We will see an increasing mass-scale of social collaborations. We are all moving to blogs, wikis, social networking and hundreds of collaborative platforms of choice. These are beginning to manage (even take over) our lives. As we disseminate knowledge we get growing cross-fertilization.

4. Open hardware – The more we become curious, the more we want to build ‘something.’ More and more open source hardware is permitting us to build upon it. We are increasingly having the potential to study, modify, make, extend, distribute or design so these modifications take on our identity. The use of ready to use components and materials, tapping into established processes, open infrastructures, allowing unrestricted content and plugging into open-source design tools gives us all as individuals the ability to create something. The more we are moving towards a more open source internet of things to design, use and value within our lives.

All of this digital technology is seemingly all about ‘getting to know’. Our privacy and security concerns are getting caught up in this, for a time it will slow the pace down but I fear the ‘genie is out of the lamp’ constantly asking you your next connected wish before you see another useful technology lamp to ‘rub’ for more wishes. Over time privacy and security will take on a different meaning and the pursuit of trace-ability and transparency will take its place as our concerns.

Why will this change – simply because we need everything to be open?

As we become more open, more willing or coerced into trying the latest thing, the internet of things will increasingly determine our behaviors. There are four powerful enablers that are working away at making a significant change in our lives. As we connect more, we change our ways of working, our thinking, our habits and our abilities to earn a living.

• The more personal devices will keep us in the anytime / anywhere state, demanding the services it provides will give us increased innovating opportunities.

• IoT will offer those (expected) guarantees of access into the physical world. Digital will fuse more with the physical and we have to keep open to explore this.

• Then we have the internet of people, all busy connecting and communicating that will promote the internet as the fundamental channel of choice, into user communities of selected groups, or broader communities that we will rely increasingly upon for data, content, services and increasingly our ‘digital currency’ to earn a living.

• Lastly cloud computing allows an infinite array of connecting apps, your personalized virtual infrastructure, where you can receive, deliver, create and distribute growing services over the internet, extending your ability to innovate to a much wider market.

Yes, the world of innovation is changing, digital is changing it significantly

We felt open innovation was a big enough deal, perhaps it was in its day but as digital implants itself into our lives, into our organizations, into our societies more and more. We must decide if we stay open to allow it in, or try to close it off and channel it in ways that will provide value, but those will be transitory moments before we need to go back and open up again.

image credit: digitalsocial.eu

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Paul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities. Find him @paul4innovating

Paul Hobcraft

Paul Hobcraft is recognized for his consistency to champion and informs on innovation. He focuses on building innovation capacity, competencies, and capabilities and promotes innovation in informative, creative and knowledgeable ways, piecing together the broader understanding of innovation. Paul continually constructs a series of novel and relevant frameworks to help advance this innovation understanding and writes mainly through his posting site of www.paul4innovating.com where he regularly publishes his thinking and research based on solutions that underpin his advisory, coaching and consulting work at  www.agilityinnovation.com




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