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Top innovation tips - for technology buyers

Sometimes, the words of the wise can really help. When it comes to innovation, they're invaluable. Here are some hints and tips for technology buyers.

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Top tips for technology buyers

- Don't be fearful of innovation, even in a tough market. Recessions often give rise to entirely new business models. Ignore innovations and you risk losing business to those who exploit them.

- Do look at the financial viability of an innovative supplier. A company without a large cash reserve and strong profits can still deliver real business benefits. It is a question of risk and reward.

- Allow for supplier failure, or acquisition, as part of the project plan. Are there others who could supply functionally similar technology? How easy would it be to switch? How much in-house expertise do you need to support the application or technology? If you buy through an integrator or consultancy, will they support the technology if the original vendor ceases to trade and under what terms?

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- Look at new delivery models as well as innovative technologies. Cloud computing and software as a service allow businesses to test out new ideas and business processes without committing capex to hardware or software licences. Consider piloting new technologies in less critical areas, and build a resilient architecture that can cope with change. In software, service oriented architectures (SOA) and open standards make it easier to switch out a technology if the supplier fails.

- Don't be afraid of failures: true innovation means taking risks. Always taking the safe path will allow competitors to gain the advantage.

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