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5 Key Steps for Business Innovation

business innovation, innovation

What is Business Innovation?

The definition of business innovation pertains to changing processes, or creating more effective products and ideas. In business this means anything from implementing new ideas to improving existing services. This is the driving catalyst for growth and success if done correctly. It really assists adapting and growing in the industry. Innovation can also mean that the business model is changing so that the business can adapt and change to better deliver products and services that the customer really wants.

5 Key Steps

  1. Analyze – Look for trends in the marketplace and what your customer really wants. Look at the competition too.
  2. Consult – Talk with your customers and employees to get ideas. You can than improve your processes, products and services both inside the company and out. It will make your business stronger in the long run.
  3. Seek Advice – Look to business advisors, grants and other types of help to drive innovation.
  4. Be Open – Be open with all ideas brought to you. Allow the company to adapt easily to change.
  5. Training – Empower employees to think in more creative ways from the top down.

Innovation in the Data Age

Innovation in the data age is a little different though. Use loyalty programs to capture spending patterns of customers. Another is to gather feedback on processes to cut time spent doing something online. Collecting data will help you to make better, more informed decisions. An inexpensive way to do this is through using the Internet to research spending patterns. You can also find out what the newest trends are in your industry this way. Go ahead and analyze store transactions to find insight and use marketing research. Cloud-based tools are great too, as you can reach resources to help you analyze data gathered.

Or if you want to go back to basics, run a promotion allowing a survey of your customers. This will really help you to find new ways to improve your business as you are getting the information directly from those who buy from you. Or you can make a market research checklist. Put economic and industry trends there, plus customer needs, just released products and competitor actions. Or you can just do old-fashioned research. Read through data publications to find out what the specialists are saying, and try to carry out some of their recommendations.

There are tons of ways to become more creative with your business. The question is, are you going to do any of them so that you can create an edge over your competitors?

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Defining IS 4 Primary Functions in Business

IS, IT, business functions, business information system function, information systems, information technology

You can define business by four primary functions: 1) Marketing and Sales, 2) Production 3) Accounting and Finance and 4) Human Resources (HR). It is all about finding ways of supporting your business operations and management.

Marketing and Sales IS

Information systems go towards planning, promoting and selling the products or services. They support decision-making through:

  • Planning
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

This is the entire marketing IS where it has to draw on many sources of results to find information. Completing marketing research helps focus on finding answers supporting decision-making. Marketing subsystems help support decision-making. The decisions are then integrated with the sales forecast and marketing plan, comparing sales results.

The Subsystems

  • Product subsystem – The planning of introductions of new products
  • Place subsystem – Making the product available to the customer at the right place and time
  • Promotion subsystem – Supports both personal selling and advertising
  • Price subsystem – Contain industry prices and help set up pricing goals
  • Sales forecasting – Forecasting and developing a full marketing plan comes with planned marketing and outstanding orders

Components for information systems for accounting include:

  • Accounts receivable
  • Accounts payable
  • Payroll records
  • Inventory control
  • General ledgers

They rely heavily on online databases and reports custom-built. Essential functions of financial systems are:

  • Financial forecasting and planning – Predicting funds coming into and out of your company long-term. Using cash-flow models help find needs of funds locations along with where they’re coming from.
  • Financial control – Budgeting and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Funds management – Managing liquid assets for high yields with lowest degree of loss risk
  • Internal auditing – Auditing reviews and shows independent appraisals of your accounting, financial, and operational procedures.
  • Human Resources IS support through providing information to the HR office. It has grown immensely over the years to keep up with needs to adapt to new laws and regulations.

Giving access to stakeholders including:

  • Employees of the HR department
  • Personnel of your company wishing to see their records
  • Workers wishing to see open positions and benefit plans
  • People taking computer training classes for work and completing evaluations
  • Managers can rate their subordinates and make decisions
  • Executives creating tactical and strategic planning

Other databases include:

  • Applicant databases
  • Position inventory
  • Skills inventory
  • Benefits databases
  • External databases


As we can see, all these different information systems have to work together smoothly to give superior results for your company. If not, it is bound to disappoint your customers. They expect timely delivery of products and services, perform QA to their own standards and flexible credit terms to name a few. Information systems offer support integrating business processes, cutting across functional lines to do it. In turn it makes everyone happy, from business partners to customers and suppliers.