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Topic: IT Resourcing

Is your Digital Innovation missing out on Co-Creation opportunities?


5 minute read

By Jake Ellis

What exactly is co-creation?

In this article, we dig into why co-creation and digital innovation are a match made in business heaven. We’ll show how making co-creation central to your ‘build or buy’ approach can spark real innovation and keep you ahead of the curve. It’s time to ditch the theory and put co-creation to work, driving real results and lasting success.

Gone are the days where technology just helped businesses run. Now, it’s the engine powering success. But it’s not just about grabbing the latest technology. It’s about turning them into tools that open doors to amazing new possibilities. That’s where co-creation comes in.

Think of co-creation as a mashup of diverse ideas, skills, and perspectives. It’s partnering with anyone from suppliers and customers to even competitors to unlock ground-breaking solutions. But for many companies, this powerful tool sits unused in the innovation toolbox.

How does co-creation fit into digital innovation?

Digital innovation in modern businesses is about implementing the latest technologies and entering into a commitment to transform, building an agenda to rethinks and reshapes how organizations operate, compete, and deliver value to their customers. 

No digital transformation can happen without the exploitation of the latest digital tools wrapped in with lots of expertise to build better products, services, or even whole business models. This is crucial in today’s fast-paced tech world, where staying relevant means constant adaptation.  Co-creation brings together diverse stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and even competitors, to collaboratively develop new solutions and ideas. It’s an approach that values the collective creativity and insights of various participants, leading to more refined and well-rounded outcomes.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, a staggering 80% of digital transformation initiatives will depend on external co-creation partnerships.

When you mix co-creation with digital innovation, things get extra exciting. This combo unlocks more dynamic, customer-focused, and downright innovative solutions. It taps into a wider pool of brains and expertise, leading to faster progress and better ideas. In today’s digital age, this is what separates thriving companies from the pack.

The Build or Buy Dilemma

On the digital innovation journey, businesses face a big decision: build it ourselves or buy it from someone else? This “build or buy” dilemma shapes a company’s innovation strategy, with each option having its pros and cons.

Going the “buy” route – outsourcing or partnering with others for digital solutions – can give your business a shot of agility. It lets you tap into expertise and tech you might not have in-house, speeding up innovation. Working with partners can be faster and cheaper than building it yourself, especially if tech isn’t your core focus.  That said, this approach has its bumps, especially finding and trusting the right partners.

Buying success hinges on the quality and reliability of your external crew. And there’s the tricky balance between relying on others and building your own skills. Too much dependence can leave you vulnerable, while going completely in-house might slow you down.

The importance of a strong supplier network

Your business success hinges on a balance between internal ingenuity and building a dynamic network of suppliers and partners. These external partnerships go beyond mere transactions; they are a treasure trove of expertise, diverse perspectives, and fresh ideas that can supercharge your innovation engine.

Deloitte suggests that companies tapping into a diverse network of freelancers and consultants for co-creation projects witness a remarkable 40% increase in the originality and feasibility of their innovative ideas.

A collaborative ecosystem fuels the creation of unique solutions, giving you a powerful edge in the marketplace. A network of cutting-edge tech firms provides access to the latest advancements, experienced manufacturers expedite production, and marketing gurus unlock untapped customer insights.

Neglecting this network, however, comes with steep costs.  You risk reinventing the wheel internally and soaking up your project resources while competitors, fueled by supplier-powered ideas, zoom past. This could mean slower product launches, offerings lacking the latest advancements, an project delays.

Building a strong supplier network is about more than just stockpiling resources; it’s about creating an environment where ideas collide, challenges are tackled collaboratively, and ground-breaking solutions emerge. This fertile ground leads to market-leading products and services that leave your competition in the dust.

What it takes to make a good digital innovation strategy

Just like a finely tuned machine, your innovation strategy needs regular checkups and adjustments to stay ahead. Evaluating your strategy is about ensuring it aligns perfectly with your company’s overall goals and embraces the dynamic nature of technology. A key question to ask: how effectively are you leveraging digital innovation and co-creation?

1. Ensure your strategy is laser-focused on the company’s overarching ambitions. Every technological investment, every innovation initiative, should be a targeted action driving you closer to your goals. Keep your sights firmly fixed on the business needs that truly matter.

2. Remember that customers and internal stakeholders are the driving force behind every digital success story. A customer-centric focus will be your secret weapon, fostering loyalty and setting you apart from the competition.

3. Adaptability is your shield against the quicksand of constant change. Embrace flexibility and ensure your approach can weather any digital storm.

Accenture emphasizes that companies prioritizing flexible talent solutions through staffing providers experience a 50% improvement in their ability to adapt to changing market trends and customer needs.

Ready to Co-Create?

The “build or buy” debate is obsolete in the age of digital innovation. Building alone limits your possibilities. Co-creation with skilled partners unlocks doors to breakthroughs you can’t reach on your own. Without access to diverse expertise and perspectives, digital innovators stumble along, blind to ground-breaking opportunities. Building costly internal capabilities when you don’t need them isn’t enough. Embrace the network. 

Invest in strategic partnerships. Identify trusted collaborators. Ignite co-creation’s spark. Don’t be left in the dust with a single-fuel engine while competitors zoom ahead on an interconnected grid. The future isn’t built alone; it’s co-created. Plug in, power up, and dominate.

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