How enterprises can innovate without disrupting existing operations

Cloud with binary code raining down from it
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Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any business, especially well-established enterprises. According to McKinsey, 50 of the world’s most innovative public companies cite innovation as a central value three times more often than other companies. However, a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that only 20% of enterprises are fully ready to deliver the innovation they see as being critical to their success.

Supporting today’s way of working

The world of work has changed. There is a need to be able to work from anywhere because customers and clients are everywhere - on every device, and potentially making contact via any channel. In this new world, workers must be mobile. They might be hybrid across office and home office, and they definitely need the option of working on the move, transferring calls or video meetings between devices. To remain productive, they must have better tools.

When it comes to innovation to support these new work models, many businesses understand that they would benefit from new capabilities delivered via the cloud. Digital channels, analytics, AI, and automation are key technologies companies can leverage to drive positive business outcomes, but they’re only accessible in the cloud. What does that mean for the many businesses with decades-old on-premises systems? Is it possible for them to benefit from cloud-based innovation without disrupting existing operations?

Stephen Cunningham

Stephen Cunningham is Sales Director for UK Enterprise at Avaya.

Innovation without disruption

Innovation can come in many forms and doesn’t have to be a breakthrough new technology or completely new business model. Often, the best innovations make changes to something already established by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. Innovation can be as simple as an upgrade to customer service or new features added to a product. It’s worth noting that according to Deloitte, 40% of enterprises kick-off their innovation process by looking internally for optimization opportunities.

Innovation without disruption is possible. There’s no need to forsake the old in favour of the new. Instead, look for something simple that adds incremental value to the day-to-day lives of customers or employees or both.

The hybrid cloud overlay option

Although many businesses know how much they could benefit from new cloud-based capabilities, they may not be ready to move on from their established on-premises systems, which are probably deeply entwined with other frameworks. As current investments shouldn’t be abandoned in the name of innovation, a great way to gain the benefits of cloud whilst safeguarding the stability of ongoing processes is to use hybrid cloud to overlay the innovation.

Examples of small steps towards innovation might be augmenting voice-only customer service with new digital channels that make it easier for customers to make contact or adding analytics to better understand what customers want so that CX can be improved. AI capabilities, especially, offer unique productivity-boosting benefits that elevate how work gets done in the world of working from anywhere. Businesses can use their on-premises systems and take advantage of communications capabilities in the cloud through hybrid configurations. One example is where an on-premises system routes audio and video through cloud-hosted technology for real-time media processing, enhances its value with AI, and routes it back on-premise.

AI capabilities can help create better outcomes through better user experiences, for example: AI-based background noise removal ensures everyone is heard clearly in real-time or when listening to recordings, and for accurate transcriptions. AI virtual backgrounds provide professional backgrounds for employees to use when they may not have the best space for conducting a meeting or presentation. Also, whether at home, in the office, or elsewhere, AI-infused immersive presentations can help create an engaging virtual experience via screenshare. This technology overlays speakers on top of presented material, providing a sleek, seamless viewing experience not unlike a keynote or lecture. Presenters can share PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, data results, and more.

Innovation at own pace

Successful businesses need to keep moving forward, seeking new opportunities, and trying different approaches to things. However, embracing new ideas shouldn’t mean disruption to existing business operations. Enterprises need to move at a speed that fits their business needs. If a company’s technology isn’t mature enough to deliver what’s required, they should collaborate with partners who offer enabling technologies to gain access.

Hybrid cloud offers businesses, particularly well-established enterprises, an innovation model that safeguards the stability of existing operations whilst unlocking new value and driving positive business outcomes through the cloud. It’s important to choose a technology partner that can provide a tailored path to cloud technologies that can be taken at their own pace.

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Stephen Cunningham is Sales Director for UK Enterprise at Avaya.