This sponsored blog entry was submitted by Khali Henderson of Channel Partners.
Innovation is a tricky subject. Many of us think about it as the epiphany — the moment of brilliance that is punctuated by “Eureka!” That, of course, is a romantic notion. Innovation is the product of collaboration and usually over periods of time. “We take ideas from other people, from people we’ve learned from, from people we run into in the coffee shop and we stitch them together into new forms and we create something new. That’s where innovation happens,” said author Steven Berlin Johnson in his July 2010 TED Talk, “Where Good Ideas Come From.”
Johnson’s assertion is based on research, including one study that found “almost all the important breakthrough ideas did not happen [to scientists] alone in the lab, in front of the microscope. They happened at the conference table at the weekly lab meeting.”
Johnson calls this collaborating environment a “liquid network,” where people with different backgrounds and interests bounce ideas off each other. It happens all the time in tech. It doesn’t take an engineering mind to recognize, for example, that the meteoric rise of cloud delivery models was the result of improvements on the ASP model of the early 2000s brought about by technological advances like virtualization, which made it economically possible to build on-demand computing.
Taken together, these incremental innovations have created one of the most disruptive forces in technology consumption and delivery. Cloud has turned everything — including the traditional supply chain — on its head. It’s unclear from one situation to the next who is a supplier and who is a partner. Instead of a linear supply chain, an ecosystem is emerging.
And, I would argue, that ecosystem is one giant liquid network to incubate innovation.
As Johnson noted, there is an unplanned, emergent, unpredictable power in open innovative systems. “When you build them right, they will lead to completely new directions that the creators never dreamed of,” he said.
Introducing The Cloudys
Channel Partners wants to highlight those efforts, and so we are introducing a recognition program that offers a fresh take on media awards and aligns with the new realities of the cloud world. The Cloudys: The Cloud Channel Innovation Awards — open to all players in the evolving ecosystem — reward innovation not in products, but in areas that matter most, from strategic solutions and customer value to best practices, operational excellence and enablement.
Visit www.channelpartnersonline.com/cloudys to apply. The deadline is May 31, 2014. Winners will be celebrated at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, Sept. 8-10 in New Orleans. We can’t wait to hear your great ideas.
Khali Henderson is editor-in-chief of Channel Partners, a leading media brand in Virgo Publishing's Cloud & Communications Network.