IS enabled process innovation

Change, improve, innovate!

Fingers on the mousepad of a laptop

Process innovations can be implemented in any type of organization – from manufacturing to e-commerce companies. In any industry whether it be healthcare or defense. And both in private sector companies and public sector organizations.

Information systems play an important role in process innovation implementation. Information systems are part of most organizations and these systems create opportunities for and barriers to process innovation.

Modern examples of process innovation include:

  • Amazon.com (e-business company) – rethinking the value chain. The company started as an online bookstore in 1995 and has outmatched some of the world's largest brick-and-mortar bookstores through its innovative business model (internet shopping rather than physical storefronts, personalization, warehousing etc.). More …
  • Drupal (content management platform) – rethinking software development. Drupal is an example of distributed development by a community of enthusiasts. Instead of developing and selling proprietary software, the creators distribute and maintain the software as open source making business out of support services which are offered to companies using the software.
  • Pallesgavebod.dk (library portal) – rethinking library services. "Palles gavebod" roughly translates to "Pete's gift shop" and is an attempt to open young people's eyes to the content provided by public libraries. By merging the universe of play, chat, and various media (music, video etc.), the public libraries hope to stimulate young people's interests in the content available to them at the libraries.

The three examples not only show that process innovation comes in many forms, but also that innovations can be implemented in many different types of organizations.

Regardless of company type, size, and industry, some factors are critical to process innovation success. Among the success factors are: management commitment, stakeholder involvement, training, and project planning. For more information, see for example "The critical success factors for ERP implementation: an organizational fit perspective" (Hong & Kim, 2002). Although the article focuses on the implementation of ERP systems, many of the success factors mentioned are applicable to process innovation in general and IS enabled process innovation in particular.