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IT innovation isn't new, but essential to maintain a competitive edge

IT innovation: It’s the buzzword of the year. But what does it actually mean?

According to, to innovate means to introduce something new or to make changes in anything established. In IT, that’s hardly a new concept: Advances in technology have always led to IT innovation for a competitive edge.

Lalitendu Panda, CIO of D&M Holdings, for example, is constantly integrating the technologies of the high-end digital audio and video brands that D&M acquires. The goal is “a single version of truth” across D&M’s inventory channel and customer-facing websites. As part of our CIO Innovators series, Panda will share his views on IT innovation next week on

Not all IT innovation is driven by the heads of IT. In my reporting over the past couple of weeks, I spoke with a director of applications and a director of decision support at different enterprises, both of whom found innovative ways to make cloud computing services more palatable to their companies. One chose a cloud broker to ensure that workloads move seamlessly among major public clouds including’s and Terremark Worldwide’s. The other found an identity management Software as a Service to provide users with single-sign-on access to personalized homepages of approved applications.

Innovation is on the minds of CEOs as well, according to the results of PricewaterhouseCooper’s 14th Annual CEO Survey of more than 1,200 business executives around the globe. More than three-quarters of the CEOs surveyed said they believe IT innovation will drive efficiencies and lead to competitive advantage. Close to 70% are investing in IT to reduce costs and become more efficient, while 54% are funding growth initiatives that make use of emerging technologies in mobile devices, social media and data analytics.

Alexander Eliseev, chairman of the board of directors for Russian company Globaltrans, told PwC that technological innovation means finding “new and more efficient ways of accepting, processing and delivering cargo. It is very important that Globaltrans be at least a step ahead of the rest of the industry in offering new railway logistics solutions to the marketplace.”

IT innovation comes from the top, as well as from the rank and file, and is the engine of a recovering economy.

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