Looking for Innovators: Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards for Business Innovation
One interesting and fun aspect of the upcoming 2012 Cloud Business Summit event in NYC is the debut of Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards for business innovation. More information on the Awards is available on the Cloud Business Summit site, but we want to take some time and space here to introduce and explain the Awards, the nomination process, and the Award criteria.
The Beacon Awards are about the use of technologies in innovative ways to improve, drive, or create business in four areas of business and IT:
- Customer Engagement / Satisfaction
- Products / Solutions
- Markets / Partnering
- Business Models / Realizing Revenue
The types of innovation envisioned for the Awards are significant improvements or changes in how a firm operates, the types of markets or lines of business that it is in, or how a firm has applied different ways of thinking, management, and use of technologies to create new offerings, markets, ways of doing business, or entirely new businesses.
Firms of any type may nominate themselves, customers, or partners, as long as they are using those technologies in new and innovative ways to improve, change, or create new business or new ways of doing business.
Some guidelines to help in the nominating process include the following:
- What was the opportunity envisioned by the firm that was beyond the firm’s operational or technological capabilities? What was the opportunity, change, improvement or problem that needed to be addressed?
- Why was this important to the firm under consideration – e.g., what was being lost, or what was to be gained?
- What was done that was innovative in terms of development or use of technology to help solve the problem or improve the situation? Were any of the “big four” disruptive technologies – Cloud, mobility, social/collaboration, and/or analytics – used to enable the change, solve the problem, or create the opportunity?
- How was this innovative: e.g., is it a previously unknown use or application of technology for this type of business; is it a new type of business for the firm; did it create a new area of opportunity that was pursued;
- What were the results? What was the change/improvement/resolution; how was this measured or demonstrated?
- What, if anything, is next? Are there any plans to build on or extend what was learned into new or different areas of the business?