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Opportunities to Innovate Tomorrow

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Over the years, many once-successful companies have vanished. The move from household name to has-been is sometimes swift. A look back over the IT industry can point to a number of sizeable organizations that have ceased to be or that have morphed into a new form. You may remember companies like Prime and Wang in their heyday. These were major players in the computer industry and their names only exist today as part of other organizations, but in the early days both were large successful companies. At its peak, Wang had revenue of $3 billion and a staff in excess of 30,000. What caused the demise of these large organizations? Sales slumps, economic depression, poor service, poor financial management, and unrealistic pricing are certainly some of the reasons for failure. Other organizations from this time survived and thrived. It was not that long ago that Apple was considered a basket case. How did other organizations survive all of the management and financial turmoil? In our view, one part of the reason that some companies fail and others grow is based on the failing company’s lack of foresight and innovation. Innovation in this context needs to be the right kind of innovation. Foresight needs to account for trends that were obvious in hindsight but were obscured or not even considered as important. I can remember being told a few months after the first IBM PC launch, “Don’t worry about the IBM PC: memory and storage are well below business requirements—it’s just a toy.”


  • Supply Chain
  • Cloud Computing
  • Augmented Reality
  • Smart City
  • Corporate Strategy

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4302-4411-0_8
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© 2013 Andi Mann

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Mann, A., Watt, G., Matthews, P. (2013). Opportunities to Innovate Tomorrow. In: The Innovative CIO. Apress, Berkeley, CA.

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