Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Software Innovation Ecosystem

Innovation may be broadly defined as the successful commercial introduction of a new product, service or process. In general terms, Innovation refers to the implementation of New products (or processes) that as significant technological improvements to the outputs of the products (or processes).

Often times, software innovation involves technological innovation and process innovation.   Technological innovation involves a series of scientific and technological improvements. While process innovation involves a series of  organizational, financial and commercial activities.

It is important in this context to note that software R&D must look at both aspects of innovation.

In software, incremental innovation is most common. Incremental innovation is often seen as development of a new feature or new functional aspects or new application of an existing software product or improvement to the previous generation of the software product.

Innovation Ecosystems

Today, software innovation relies on several players:

1. Companies that develop commercial software.
2. Organization that develop free/open-source software.
3. Companies that develop Compute & Communication hardware.
4. Companies that develop Information communication technologies & hardware.
5. Companies that develop hardware-software integration.
6. Companies that develop IT services.
7. Companies that provide services based on Information Technologies.
8. Companies that finance purchases of software or hardware of compute & communication technologies.
9. Companies that own & license patents.
10. Government & regulatory agencies.

Today innovation in software sector is often characterized by participation of a wide range of companies listed above. The complexity of the interactions between different players add to challenge of innovation.  Many companies in the ecosystem operate beyond the norms of software development and often complement software products. Understanding the ecosystem forms the foundation to software process innovation.

The technological convergence between hardware, software and telecommunication technologies lead to product innovation - where technology synergy and interdependence across different technologies drives product innovation.

In short, software innovation today needs a greater level of collaboration across multiple players in different segments of the ecosystem.

As a result of this ecosystem, software innovation is getting concentrated in areas/cities that has a conducive environment for collaboration. 

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