Agility in Digital Innovations
IS literature emphasizes the increased dynamics that follow along with the digitalization of enterprises, respectively their products. Hence, the duration of releases of digital innovations is continuous and benefits from implementations with flexible methodologies, which are familiar to software development but less to business units. Basically, this is the shift from full-product releases to tinier releases (Fitzgerald and Stol 2015; Lerch and Gotsch 2015). Due to that, firms can shorten product release times and adapt more proficiently to a customer’s request. Agile methods which are based on daily coordination between the development and the business unit, are practices of software development that are increasingly adopted by manufacturing and service companies (Fitzgerald and Stol 2015; Mangalaraj et al. 2009).
Organizational Recombination in the Digital Age
There may not be any study that addresses organizational recombination, although there may be a relationship to agility which has been identified as a relevant IS capability for the development of digital innovations. Yet, Henfridsson et al. (2014) emphasize the relationship between organizational design and product design for further research. Therefore, the recombination of technological elements (sensors, electro-technique, machine construction, and IT) and organizational elements (fluidity, team structures, agile development procedures) may serve as an interesting research field to enable digital innovations. Conflating both may result in increased innovativeness, hence, spur novelty innovations.
Compromising the Devil’s Quadrangle in the Digital Age
From comparing manufacturers to service firms, a peculiarity in regard to managing the two-clock speed of developing hard- and software can be perceived. While service companies focus on more agility and shorter time-to-markets which may be prone to errors, manufacturing companies may have an intensified focus on failsafe products, especially in B2B businesses.
New Governance Structures in the Digital Age
We learn from companies how they did reorganize their structure to deal with the challenges that occur due to the development of digital innovations. Still, managers of such companies seldom explicate the introduction of novel business units or high-level positions responsible for exclusively dealing with the shifts that accompany digital transformation, e.g. a CDO.
Critically Appreciating Digital Innovations
From a critical perspective, the development of digital innovations and digital innovations cannot ignore security risks. Existing possibilities and affordances are and likely will leapfrog our evolution, but it will behoove inventors and firms to take the lead on regulation against waiting for the governments. Government will inevitably be behind in their understanding and the resulting governance will be outdated. Besides, there is cloud hovering over digital visions. This cloud is the appalling record of IT-enabled (particularly software development) projects. According to a recent McKinsey report (Bloch et al. 2012), significant sized IT-based projects deliver less than half their expected value. The Standish Group (2014) paints an even more dismal picture of project failure with less than half delivering what was expected in terms of time and budget. This business and trade press conveys the picture that "projects" are outdated. In contrast, it is argued that today’s agile software development is delivering continuously updated software and innovations. Perhaps this is true for some companies, but the two studies show that publicly available data says software projects fail more often than they succeed. Hence, such a software enabled nirvana might be still far away from reality although the technology would allow for it. Finally, creating an increased business model dependence on the ability to continuously deliver Digital Innovations might actually be making those business models even more fragile.
Sensing and Developing of Novel Digital Products
Digital Innovations and their affordances allow for advances in considerable sociological and environmental aspects. Their affordances can enhance the use of energy, water or food, leading to less wasting of resources. For instance, a sensor in a shower head may allow saving water by monitoring water usage and control for water sprinkling. Further, Digital Innovations can support advances in the human condition in health (activity trackers motivate people to move), safety (remote property surveillance call attention for burglars), mobility (autonomous cars save fuel due to selecting optimal routes on the streets), and training (augmented reality can enhance experiences and help in situations). A thesis may focus on the role of IT in novel products, in regard to innovation processes and their outcomes.