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StrategyJan 21, 2016

You May Not be Walmart, but You Too Can Have an Innovation Center

Morgan Eseke, and Dustin Talk

One of the presentations we attended at the National Retails Foundation’s Big Show 2016, was titled “Storming Silicon Valley: The Leading Edge of Retail Tech Labs.” Two of the speakers were from Credera’s list of clients: Michael Cooper, CIO of GameStop and Scott Emmons, Head of Innovation Lab at Neiman Marcus. While, unlike many companies, both of these clients are larger and have a R&D budget, it became very clear that this is an area where we can help many in the retail and online space. Let’s first take a look at what an innovation center is, why it is important, and then, finally, how Credera can help.

As Scott Emmons put it, an innovation center is a “response to how rapidly technology is changing.” For many years, retailers have been in a largely predictable growth market. However, with the rise of eCommerce and innovation from companies like Etsy, Lyst, and Spring, traditional retailers must face a new reality.  As Michael Cooper put it, “the internal rate of change has to exceed the external rate of change.” This typically takes shape as a small group of profit and future focused individuals are able to bypass today’s constraints and prototype technology to form a long term competitive advantage.

Many of these centers are located in Tech focused areas like San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Denver, and Chicago.

So, what’s holding you back? Many face challenges such as legacy constraints, process limitations, or even a culture of following the market. Conversely, others have an established customer base, are open to testing ideas, and willing to push past bureaucratic limitations to realize agility. While there may still be a restriction on R&D budgets, this can be alleviated through strategic focus.

This is where Credera can help. Partnering with Credera, and through assessments and workshops, we can help drive innovation with your team. Having seen trends over a variety of technology changes and industry verticals, we come armed with smart and creative talent prepared to partner with your team. Through test driven results we are able to drive solutions and innovations together. While these solutions may not always succeed (a tenant of innovation centers is to always fail fast if your are going to fail), we will work together to pivot and react as agile teams do.

To learn more about some of the innovative ways we have helped our clients, visit our client stories page or contact us.