The language of innovation starts with „listen, learn, understand, adapt” when it comes to responding to change. But oftentimes companies want to create and lead change. Then the vocabulary and approach is shifting towards „envision, build, refine”. As an innovation partner with a focus on delivering technology projects, these innovation dialogues are essential to our work. These changes can mean a different technology or a new way of doing business. In either case, it is also vital to articulate the need for change and to ensure that the new solution is not only better from a technical point of view but also adopted by the client.
A current example where iQuest is delivering such innovation projects is „The Internet of Things”, or Machine-to-Machine communication, which drives other areas such as Big Data and Cloud-Computing. At the end it is vital to show in real world applications how people and businesses benefit from this new technology. And it goes without saying that internal innovation and change has to map to what we deliver to clients.
The working environment is also important, as well as the means of motivating the employees. Let’s face it: money is an important basic factor, but not a long-term motivator. People also want to contribute and grow in terms of personal and professional skills. At iQuest, we pay attention during the selection and onboarding process and invest in continued training, for example during our iQuest University which helps our employees enhance and develop their skills. Also, we encourage both continued learning and contribution to technical, business and social communities. In fact, some of our business groups were the result of a certain incubation project and developer contests where we participated and won a category award. For example our Mobile Solutions department was established when we won the Travel category award of Android Developer Challenge 2, a global competition launched by Google.
Innovation also translates into diversity when it comes to the people working on different projects. Multicultural teams enrich the spirit and present a diverse set of skills. What makes iQuest fairly unique is the cultural and geographical proximity to our clients. Our development centers are a couple of hours away from major cities in Europe. Many clients find this advantage very compelling in terms of cooperation while ensuring frequent and local exchanges between experts. Language skills are equally as important as cultural sensitivity, awareness and mindfulness.
Nevertheless, the development center in Romania fulfills these criteria and it also benefits from the fact that the IT&C sector in this country is very innovative. This is a people business and companies are looking to attract and grow talent. But we can do more to engage the young generation in science and computer topics. Therefore iQuest is an active member in communities in cities like Cluj, Brasov and Sibiu, where we are co-sponsors of science camps and competitions.
Earlier, I mentioned change as a driver for innovation. On a personal level we appreciate when people are motivated to actively initiate a change. This can sometimes be a relocation, taking on a new topic or working with a new team. In today’s world it is important to be passionate and great in a chosen subject, but also to broaden skills. The technology sector is constantly evolving, not only in terms of software and hardware but also in the way people work together. For example, being a master in Agile and Lean methods is a must today. It is not sufficient to write excellent code, you also need to work together very well.
iQuest has also broadened its skill set and capabilities as a company over the years, by delivering projects in the real world. This has lead to innovation in expansion. Today iQuest is a partner of choice when it comes to delivering innovation in key areas such as Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and M2M (Machine-to-Machine communication). But this is a constant effort to advance and out-innovate the peer companies.
Of course, measuring the success of an innovation is also important, and when it comes to this, it can be measured in terms of replacing the existing solution, and making the life-time value greater than the cost of innovation. The rate of adoption and sustainability of the innovation are two other key criteria for a successful innovation.