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Two Different Ways of Innovating with Information Technology

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Innovating with Information Technology

As stated in the case, The New York Times chose to deploy their innovation support group as a shared service across business units. What are the advantages of choosing this approach? Shared services have long been seen as a supporting unit for the rest of the business with limited impact outside of the bottom line. However, companies and directors of shared services face mounting pressure to make significant contributions other than to the bottom line. Growth and innovation, two of the most critical issues facing companies today, are historically, not the chief concerns of staff functions or of shared services.

However, shared services focus on process management expertise forms a critical tool for cost-effective growth. This process management discipline, leveraged through innovation initiatives, allows companies to overcome shortages of key technical talent and lower product cost curves, and expand into international markets.

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At the New York Times, tough times have elevated IT-enabled innovation to the top of the agenda.

A research and development group, created in 2006 operates as a shared service across nearly two dozen newspapers, a radio station, and more than 50 web sites. The role is to accelerate the entry onto new platforms by identifying opportunities, conceptualizing, and prototyping ideas. The group work within a common framework based on idea generation, development, and diffusion throughout the business. The team’s work is intended to supplement and support innovation taking place within the business units.


Shared services units would also influence how companies manage their human capital, financial capital and technology, arguably three of the most important components of a successful company today. Furthermore, by consolidating and standardizing management information, shared service centres can help companies to integrate internationally and show a common face to their customers. Hence the rationale for shared services can be summarized as the need organizations to:

  • Align accounting services with the busniness strategy
  • Eliminate non value added activities Streamline administrative processes
  • Reduce costs
  • Obtain consistent information across sites and countries
  • Free up resources for core business operations
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness in non core processes

The growth of shared services is increasingly linked to the broader restructuring of businesses along the global lines and the need to establish solid platforms for rapid global growth. Typically, drivers for implementing shared services are often related to costs, quality, speed, dependability and flexibility.


  • The decision-making process is longer and more complex.
  • More people are involved in the decision-making process, representing different facets of the business.

Challange for Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific faced the challenge of balancing openness and sharing with security and the need for restricting access to information.

  • How did the use of technology allow the company to achieve both objectives at the same times?
  • What kind of cultural changes were required for this to be possible?
  • Are these more important than the technology-related issues?

The company seek out software that allows the broader engineering community to share knowledge while managing access to product development data . So that the way to address this problem solve is active security. That is regularly monitor who’s accessing what, and adjust permissions as business conditions change. Over the past few years, engineers have been focused on quality system improvements. Boston Scientific is piloting Invention Machines’s Goldfire software, which provides the right mix of openness and security for data.

Goldfire makes an automated workflow out such tasks as analyzing markets and milking a company’s intellectual property. It combines internal company data with information frompublic sources, such as federal government databases. Researchers can use the software to find connections among different sources, for instance by highlighting similar ideas. Engineers can use such analysis to get ideas for new products and begin to study their feasibility. The goal is to have any engineer be able to access any other engineer’s research. Although the goal is more openness , not all ata stay open forever. For example, as a project gets closer to the patent application stage to the data about it is clipped to fewer people. Since installing Goldfire patent apllicationare up compared to similar engineering groups that do not use the Goldfire tool. With this new system, researchers and engineers should be given an understanding of work systems, procedural, and the provisions and restrictions that apply regarding accessibility to the data. Application of this can be done through support by the executives at the company and also through training.

The other components are create a statement of corporate values and beliefs, effective communication, conducting a review of the organizational structure, re-design approach to rewards and recognition, and conduct a review of all systems work. The cultural changes we’re required that can be possible to this system is monitor all the employee who access the data and also manage the authorization. It is also needed in conjunction with changes in technology since both of these will support each other without focusing on one thing only. We have had to educate people that we aren’t throwing security out the window but making valuable knowledge available to the organization.

Video rental map

The video rental map developed by The New York Times and Netflix graphically display movie popularity across neightborhoods from major U. S. cities. How could Netflix use this information to improve their business? Could other companies also take advantage of these data? The New York Times has launched a cool interactive map that shows the most popular Netflix rentals across 12 U. S. etropolitan areas: New York, San Francisco/Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami. To create the map the NYT partnered with Netflix. The map is a graphical database of the top 100 most-rented Netflix films of 2009 laid on top of maps. With it you to graphically explore top 2009 Netflix movies based on three criteria; films that were hated/loved by critics, an alphabetical list, and most rented. For example, select most rented, and when you mouse-over a ZIP code up pops a window showing you what the top Netflix rentals are for that specific region.

The map does show some interesting trends: Big blockbusters were not as popular in city centers (Wanted and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, barely made a splash in the city centers of Manhattan and San Francisco), though this could be due to the fact that a lot of people see blockbusters in movie theaters. The other companies could also take the advantage from those data. When they create the map that shows the most popular Netflix rentals it can explore top Netflix data based such as book rental service data ( Book Swim).

Cite this Two Different Ways of Innovating with Information Technology

Two Different Ways of Innovating with Information Technology. (2016, Dec 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/two-different-ways-of-innovating-with-information-technology/

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