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Retail Innovation Strategy and SAP Technologies

Part 1: The Innovation Radar

What is a good methodology to track relevant innovation topics in the retail industry? A methodology that keeps the CTO and account team focused on innovation topics, one that is a source of ideas for innovations, one that helps what technologies should be on our radar… These kind of questions are samples when teams look for a structured approach for an innovation strategy. To this end we have adopted Gartner’s hype cycle methodology and created a innovation radar leveraging several hype cycles that provide a good context of an innovation strategy within the retail industry. The picture below depicts the conceptual framework of the innovation radar.
Innovation Radar Concept
Inovation Radar
Innovation Radar Concept
A technology of a hype cycle is mapped to the radar as a point and the distance to the center indicates its time until mainstream adoption. The point is color coded according to Gartner’s business benefit ranking: red = transformational, green = high, yellow = moderate and grey = low. Furthermore, a hype cycle is mapped to an aspect of the innovation strategy. At EDS we use the BATOG framework for these aspects:
  • Business Context: Trends that shape the dynamics of the marketplace of the retail industry. Here we map Hype Cycles like Retail Technologies, CRM technologies, e-Commerce. Typically, these technologies translate directly to business areas and are prime topics of conversations with business stakeholders.
  • Applications: Trends that shape the state of a retailers business applications and their ability to support taday’s and tomorrow’s business. Here we map Hype Cycles like Application Infrastructure Platforms. Typically these topics are on the agenda of application architects and benefits must be translated for business stakeholders in terms of business agility and leverage.
  • Technology: Trends that shape a retailer’s underpinning hardware and network platform. Here we map Hype Cycles like Server, Storage, PC, Network. Typically, these topics are on the agenda of the infrastructure architects and benefits must also be translated into business agility and leverage.
  • Organization: Trends that can shape the readiness of retailer’s IT human assets and services to perform consistently with the needs of the organization. Here we map hype cycles like IT service management. Most of the technologies help lower costs, improve service levels or lower business risk and must be translated into service quality to the business stakeholders. 
  • Governance: Trends that can shape the decision-making process and its impact on IT’s ability to meet its objectives. Regulatory and compliance technology hype cycles are examples for this strategy aspect. Thesse topics are directly on the agenda of business stakeholders. 

In total we have currently mapped about 450 technologies from 14 hype cycles resulting in a huge picture depicted below.

Innovation Radar Poster 

Obviously, this picture must be printed on a poster! This poster is hanging at many work places and is a very cool tool to learn more about the many individual technologies and can be used in discussions. However, it is only a starting point. Therefore, we have created a Sharepoint site wich acts as the central hub for innovation. First of all, the Sharepoint contains an Innovation Radar Picture that depicts the innovation topics that are relevant for the retail industry using HD View from Microsoft. This technology allows to zoom in and out and navigate through the big innovation radar picture. Second, all innovation topics have been digested into a list that contains all the relavent information from the Gartner Hype cycle. This list allows excel like filtering for individual hype cycles, business impact etc. to ease custering and selction of innovation topics. Most importantly, a technology wiki allows creation of content such as retail business impact and opportunities, vendor information etc. for each of the innovation topics. Going forward, the sharepoint will be used to collaborate with vendors, such as SAP, of our innovation network and as our innovation process dashboard.

Next Parts

In following blogs I will discuss and reach out for opinions in the community relating to some of the technology topics of the radar and on some issues and solutions for innovation strategies that we face with the innovation radar:

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      Author's profile photo Dries Guth
      Dries Guth
      very interessting blog and how EDS is able to cluster upcoming technologies in its radar concepts with the gartner hype cube is quite impressive. Seems to have some features like a self organizing map (SOM) with hyperbolic parameter (hyperbolic SOM).

      Let me know if I can get any access to your links you provided in your wonderfull blog. I want to read more about this.

      Kind regards,

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      thanks for the comment. Sorry, but the sharepoint (site) is restricted to selected partners and customers. However, I will continue to blog SAP related mappings of the hype cycle here in this community.

      kind regards