Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

Innovation is the mother of business opportunity.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” _Steve Jobs

What does Citi Group, Coca-Cola and General Electric have in common?

It’s CIO. Chief Innovation Officer.

For the companies operating in the 21st century, the writing is on the wall. Innovate or perish. There is no two ways about it. Innovation has become not only a necessity but indispensable in an age when customers have become extremely fussy and demanding. Companies can’t just afford to remain content with understanding the needs and aspirations of customers. But they constantly need to innovate products and services that actually serve the customers well. Because innovation is customer centric and that’s what propels business. Innovation is the best way for a company to place itself in a commanding position even before rivals have figured out competition. And companies are getting damn serious about it. As Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft has stressed in his first mail to all the employees “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.”

CIO’s are deployed not only to drive & monitor high end research and development projects. But also to foster a culture that encourages innovative thinking and strategies to flower freely within the company. Ideas might spring up here and there and from any level of employees; it’s CIO’s challenge to tap those ideas and channelize them in a systematic and organized way. His responsibility is to find new methodologies for product development, lay out channels for effective customer service and come up with key business ideas to realise the company goals. Importantly, innovation is not limited to technology or services. Innovation must empower a company to find new business and revenue model. It must help companies to remain competitive. An innovative company is one that streamlines new revenue pipeline every two to three years. It keep finding new ways of serving customers and creating business opportunities out of it.

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