Open Innovation
Open innovation is a paradigm that states that companies can and must also use external ideas to progress in their technological skills
  • • Open Innovation
  • • Digital Tranformation
  • • Process Innovation
  • • Product Innovation
  • • Digital Innovation
  • • Innovation Propensity
  • • Propensity for Innovation
  • • Covid 19 and Digital Acceleration

Digital Tranformation
Competitiveness, Innovation, and Digital are the keys to effectively answer to the challenges of our time, from Covid to the technological gap. Open innovation can make this all possible and accelerate the digital transformation process

Digital makes it possible to get in touch with knowledge outside the company boundaries and represents the only approach capable of supporting the enormous innovation efforts that companies can make to rethink their business model.

The Covid 19 emergency has had a deep impact on SMEs, lacking in innovation models, and the crisis caused by the pandemic will place them in front of a different economic system, more prone to changes and transformations, where innovation and digital will become essential for gaining competitiveness.

The present, therefore, confronts us with forced choices that require agile and flexible forms of organization, with processes that can be adapted to new requirements, where digital represents a valuable component and a business culture open to innovation, an equally important lever. Digital and business culture are and will be fundamental to develop, cultivate and nourish the innovation process over time with continuity.

The time has therefore come to develop long-term strategic plans with foresighted objectives and more radical innovation projects where Open Innovation can significantly contribute to the digitization of the business model.

Open innovation proves even more important in today's chaotic, turbulent, global, hyper-competitive, and technology-dominated business environment because interactions between companies and their external environments have become more permeable and digital innovation is the only one able to facilitate the new information flows that derive from it to the benefit of organizations and processes.

As the business world continues to change and external pressures are increasingly intense and pressing, open innovation stands out for being the new frontier of business development and digital transformation.


Open Innovation
Traditionally, companies have always seen innovation as a process linked only to internal resources. Open Innovation overturns this model

Open innovation is a business model for innovation that promotes collaboration with people and organizations outside the company, thus breaking the traditional mentality in which, the secrecy of corporate research and development prevails.

To implement this model, it is necessary to recognize that outside our organization there are skills that can bring added value and on which the company can freely draw to guide its innovation process.

Companies can apply open innovation practices by forging strategic alliances with other companies or entering into agreements with universities or technological centers, but above all, bind themselves to startups, research institutes, suppliers, and qualified consultants.

Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular benefit most from this new model of innovation as they have fewer internal research and development capacities, fewer resources, and less market power, but more flexibility and responsiveness.

The Origins

In 2003 Henry Chesbrough, an American economist and writer, introduced the term open innovation for the first time in his essay "Open Innovation: The New Imperative For Creating and Profiting from Technology".

«Open Innovation is a paradigm that states that companies can and must make use of external ideas, as well as internal ones, and access markets internally and externally if they want to progress in their technological skills.» Henry Cheabrough

With his essay, he introduced the concept that in today's global and hyper-competitive economy, even established and multinational companies could not refrain from seeking an innovative way in technology to compete on international markets.

The Advantages

Open innovation offers multiple advantages and can be applied in all business sectors. In the case of the Research and Development sector, it allows:

  • Reduction of costs and research and development times
  • Development productivity improvement
  • Performance improvement in planning and implementation of projects
  • Synergies between internal and external innovations
  • Reduction of equipment, supplies, personnel, and internal skills
  • Advanced digital transformation

in the case of the digital marketing sector:

  • Incorporate customers early in the development process
  • Increased accuracy for market research and customer targeting
  • Potential for viral marketing
  • Potential for completely new business models
  • Data analysis

Covid-19 and Technology
There is also a positive note in the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic: the acceleration of Italy's digital transformation process (inevitable and urgent)

«In its dramatic nature, the pandemic has forced SMEs to reflect on their vision of the future, leading them increasingly to embrace digital as a development tool» comments Andrea Rangone, Scientific Director of the Digital Innovation Observatories.

We know that the digital transformation for Italian companies had already been underway for several years, slow and in small steps, but the economic crisis generated by the pandemic represented an obligatory push towards digital tools and the consequent transformation, forcing everyone to radically redesign their way of working.

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only had an impact on businesses, but consumers have also had to deal with this rapid digital acceleration that has forced them to review their purchasing habits and to relate more to new technologies, just think that online consumers tripled in Italy during the Lockdown.

New consumption habits such as "modern food retail", the online purchase of food delivered and consumed at home, were only possible thanks to the digital transformation of processes and systems integration and only by those companies that had already started this type of innovation for some time, otherwise it would have been unachievable.

But once the emergency is over? We can assume that some new habits and trends will remain and help simplify daily life, such as smart working, e-Commerce, electronic payments, and digital streaming.

Now for Italian companies, digital transformation is an obligatory choice, and the final consumer has become an integral part of this process of evolution and renewal.


The Technological Gap in Italy
The issues of new technologies and digital skills have become of "strategic importance" for our country and our companies, both in terms of technological innovation and employment

The Italian digital market has started up again. Information technology, telecommunications, content are confirmed on the rise. The driving force is always the mobile business, but the real shot is marked by the Cyber Security sector. All this as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Robotics advance.

The challenge of digital skills is increasingly strategic and essential for Italy, to fill the gap in innovation and professional skills with other industrialized and emerging countries.

We are a country with a strong propensity for the digital economy, but which struggles to create the necessary skills to support it, but above all, it lacks a long-term strategy that involves companies and the training system. There is a lack of an overall vision that gives the push to fill the technological gap with the most advanced countries and that coordinates the paths of Digital Transformation.

In an increasing number of tasks, the possession of transversal skills, entirely new to that occupation, is increasingly required. Now the technical, managerial, professional, or relational skills of the consolidated professions must be combined and integrated with the new digital skills, favoring more technological and dynamic work environments.

In Italy, high-level technical-scientific profiles (Data Scientist, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Security Analyst, Innovation Manager) and experts in data management, IT security, IoT, digital media specialists, mobile and traditional application developers are missing. All figures necessary for digital transformation projects, indispensable figures to support the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

Ensuring enough professionals with the appropriate skills must become an absolute priority, which is why it is essential to encourage young people to study and to pursue a professional career in the Information & Communication Technology sector, promoting those skills that are increasingly required by the job market.

On the other hand, ICT managers and professionals have the duty to guide the process of technological transformation of their companies and consequently contribute to the economic and social recovery of the country, but this cannot happen until there are enough people with the skills, skills, willpower, and adequate enthusiasm.


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