Recently, the Swiss Alliance for Data-Intensive Services co-organised the “Digitization and Innovation” workshop at the national “Konferenz Digitale Schweiz”. At the heart if the conference, overall seven workshops took place to revise Switzerland’s future digital strategy by including the ideas of more than 500 invited stakeholders. It has been an immense honour for us to be asked together with CTI to contribute to what happened to be the best attended workshop of the conference (nearly 180 participants). It also underlines the recognized position of our Alliance as the hub for digital innovation in Switzerland.
The workshop started by looking at some of the success stories from our invited panelists. They demonstrated essentially two different types of digitization-driven innovations:
On one side of the spectrum are innovations that require intensive research and development, which results in a new product. Such innovations are often implemented through spin-offs and start-ups. It is important for such companies to have access to well-trained employees and to be able to grow fast enough so that continuing business from and in Switzerland is viable.
On the other side of the spectrum are innovations that are not based on a new hi-tech product or algorithm, but rather on an innovative combination of existing digital technologies with new process and business models to better meet customer needs. For the success of such innovations, the speed from idea to market is crucial. Correspondingly, such innovations are agile and closely dependent on the market.
There was a great consensus in the workshop that networks and co-operations are becoming increasingly important for all types of innovation activities. It is crucial that the right players work closely together for success. Such networks are more and more interdisciplinary and are formed by actors from different sectors.
Start-ups especially are perceived as drivers of innovation. However, also existing small and medium-sized enterprises can profit from digitization, even if they today are still apprehensive to digital transformation. Here there is a need for further awareness and establishing a corresponding culture of innovation. It is not only about reducing fears, but also about helping to recognize and realize the opportunities of digitization.
This is what we, at the Data+Service Alliance are striving to achieve at our core: fostering data-driven innovation in Switzerland through industrial, academic and individual cooperation. Together we move faster.