The digital workplace continues to bring a disruptive element to highly competitive markets and sectors. The businesses that thrive will be those that plan ahead for emerging technologies. Given the sheer pace and acceleration of technological advances, companies have no alternative - innovate or lose market advantage.
Advances in technology are one of the main reasons that globalisation has escalated.
In 1955, the first McDonalds restaurant opened in the United States. It took 12 years to establish a brand and build its presence in the USA before McDonalds made the leap overseas and opened its first restaurant in Canada.
Today, taking 12 months to internationalise would destroy any competitive advantage, never mind 12 years! Facebook operates in virtually every country, has almost two billion active users and has built a brand value of more than $50 billion (according to the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands report 2016) - all accomplished in 12 years.
Open innovation for all
Historically, innovation was the domain of large corporations and ideas were the responsibility of engineers. Today, the emerging digital platforms are facilitating new ways of achieving success. Millions of businesses now sell via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The most successful author of 2016 - Joe Wicks - is a 31-year-old personal trainer who has built a lucrative career by posting healthy recipes and high energy workouts exclusively on social platforms such as Instagram. For success in the digital age, you do not need to be an engineer or software developer - all you need is an idea and the right people to help you execute it quickly and globally.
The impact on IP
We are already seeing open innovation, crowd sourcing, collective funding for IP creation, and other new methods of generating innovation outside of traditional approaches. Some industries are spurning IP protection altogether to facilitate new markets. A good example is Tesla which has created a limited, open-source patent pool for the technologies used to build its electric vehicles, for the sole purpose of encouraging uptake in clean transportation technology.
The old (and slow) world of IP protection is colliding with a disruptive world that will not wait for growth. In the same way that platform technologies have transformed the way people communicate, share and do business, the IP industry is ready for a platform approach to drive better decision making across the ideas lifecycle.
IP makes up 70% of the corporate balance sheet. As a result, the R&D to IP process within an organisation is mission critical. Innovation is no longer just a way to win, but it is a necessity not to lose.
The IP industry has been somewhat slow to react to the benefits of technology. At CPA Global, we are focused on investing in technology that is not just software alone, but a platform offering a modular suite of cloud-based software and technology-enabled solutions that span right across the ideas lifecycle.