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Beyond boundaries: what Darwin and Xerox can teach businesses about limitless innovation


When it comes to business strategy, nothing is certain except change. Darwinism – otherwise known as “survival of the fittest”, rather than merely the biggest – is as prevalent in the business world as in nature. Rather than the biggest businesses, only the most adaptable survive; as ever, history tells us as much.

In 1970, the photocopying behemoth Xerox established the Palo Alto Research Center, known as Xerox Parc, and created the world’s first personal computer. This new device came complete with a graphical user interface, icons, windows and a mouse. Although a genuinely different product, Xerox failed to adapt it to the contemporary business landscape. At the time, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs monitored developments at Xerox Parc with keen interest. Today, everyone knows Microsoft and Apple’s contributions to the computing world; Xerox still makes photocopiers.

So, to thrive as a business, you have to embrace change. Moreover, when it comes to change, technology continually proves itself as the great enabler. Still, this begs the question: what role should technology play in your business? How does it manifest on your board? Finally, how can you leverage technological innovation to enable real business value throughout your organisation?

Undoubtedly, technology has long stopped being an IT issue; it’s a business issue. Technology enables organisations to meet the growing demands of the developing marketplace with new business models and processes. In other words, it enables innovation. We are seeing market disruption through new digital business models in all industries, from museums to hotels, to healthcare and broadcasting. 81% of business leaders agree that if they don’t embrace IT transformation, then their companies won’t be competitive (as cited by ESG Research Insights, 2018).

IT transformation is a wider issue than only digital transformation, which is why innovation is key for organisations to thrive - and technology is at the heart of this. No longer just tasked with keeping the lights on, the IT team plays an increasingly crucial role in the strategic priorities of the C-suite.

In fact, according to a recent Gartner CIO survey, 93% of CIOs at top-performing organisations lead adaptable and open-to-change IT organisations, resulting in stronger business outcomes. At the same time, the importance of innovation is a message that must be spread to many more organisations - nobody should get left behind in the digital arms race.

To this end, we’ve compiled a new report that provides a preface to strategic, technical and commercial planning. With a focus on IT leadership and Hybrid Cloud, we provide insights that will empower your transformation strategy - today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Also, to ensure our message reaches broad audiences, the publication of our report next Monday will coincide with a brand new Tube advertising campaign. As will become clear, commuters at Bank station need only to look up from their phones to find out how to evolve beyond their business boundaries. After all, Darwinism is more than just the “survival of the fittest”; it rests on co-operation, on operating as a collective.

For IT managers and the C-suite alike, this means examining more closely how businesses interact with and depend on each other - especially when they’re in direct competition. As our campaign will illustrate, this is where the power of Hybrid Cloud becomes clear: when Public and Private Clouds integrate seamlessly, limitless innovation can be achieved and, in the process, long-term survival.

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