Best Buy and Amazon happen to be two of my favorite places to shop. The truth is I stop in at a Best Buy or go online to Amazon more than once a week. Sometimes it is to pick up a cable or piece of hardware for a client or employee, but most of the time it is just to see what is new in the marketplace that could have practical application either at home or for one of our clients. Consumerization of technology has meant that some of the greatest workplace innovations hit the marketplace in retail before making it to the boardroom. For example, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and 4. That found its way to Best Buy before any businesses were willing to make an investment. Now, we are getting questions almost every day about extending the traditional desktop to mobile workers while staying in the Windows ecosystem. Yes, iPads are great, but they are no longer the most innovative option for many businesses. (Like when you need to connect them to a VPN client or attach them to your network!)
As we are heading into the budget cycle for a lot of our clients, it is important to allocate dollars to Research and Development. Perhaps start by looking at the latest mobile devices to see if there is a use case for your business. Or carve out some dollars for Data Science and Modeling to see if some of your existing processes can be assisted by Machine Learning. What about a modernization assessment to see what areas of your business can be improved using newer technology? All too often, companies take their current budget, pick one or two projects to work on in the following year, and then estimate the increases in software and hardware maintenance. This exercise leaves zero room for innovation in the workplace. It is exactly this type of innovation that can lead to a better way of providing business services.
Still looking for ways to allocate for R&D in your IT budget? Let our team of CIOs help!