How to become a TOP 100 Innovator
Imagine a tool that allows you to see how your business strategy is set to unfold – with Enterprise Architecture you can...
Imagine a tool that allows you to see how your business strategy is set to unfold – with Enterprise Architecture you can
Most industries will face niche challenges when applying disruptive technologies to drive innovation. With the breakneck pace of ever-changing market demands, leaders must look beyond traditional organisational set ups – this is where Enterprise Architecture (EA) can help you get ahead. EA is what tech company ins-pi specialise in, and furthermore, it is what helped get them where they are today.
Recognised as a TOP 100 Innovator in Germany 2022, ins-pi is a software manufacturer with core competencies in EA and digital transformation. Founded in 2015 in Cologne, founders Kadir Özbayram and Klaus Isenbecker took a non-traditional path to achieve their success.
According to Özbayram, Senior Partner at ins-pi: “Our strength in innovation and our success to date has been achieved through a number of key elements. Namely our operating model, strategy execution, the way we develop and position our products, and the collaboration with our customers, partners, and employees.”
The operating model
The biggest challenge when creating ins-pi was to escape the traditional way of working whereby employees had to attend the office. Flexibility was essential, both in mindset and location. A more versatile operating model with distributed employees worldwide was required, with minimal physical touchpoints.
“As we are from Germany it made sense to establish the company here, but it could have been anywhere in the world, as our target customer base was global. And the virtual team setup did not require a physical office anywhere,” says Isenbecker.
This forward-thinking approach proved its worth during the Covid pandemic: “We literally didn’t have to make any changes to our way of working and organisational set up. Meanwhile our competitors were closing their offices one by one. Our innovative model just proved itself. Since then, this remote way of working has become the new normal,” says Isenbecker.
An agile approach
The two founders immediately started to apply Enterprise Architecture methods and principles to their business. Documenting ins-pi’s vision, goals, and strategies. Mapping these to their core business capabilities allowed Özbayram and Isenbecker to quickly adapt the processes, becoming agile in the face new challenges. And from there new opportunities arose.
“Without our model and Enterprise Architecture, we would have crashed in the first year. EA makes all interdependencies visible and allows tracking the impact of changes instantly. Using EA is a bit like playing chess and predicting the outcome of your decisions.”
To the next curve
“As we created ins-pi, we didn’t want to just create a slightly better EA solution. We were trying to jump to the next curve of EA by unifying the planning and operational levels on a single secure platform. That is why we are creating our applications on the ServiceNow platform,” highlights Özbayram.
“We put all our eggs into one basket – but could see the potential to disrupt the market with this new approach. In hindsight this was a great decision, and also, no risk, no fun! Being ahead of the curve can give you a huge competitive advantage, but it can hurt badly it doesn’t work out. EA minimises that risk, as you can see all interdependencies of your enterprise. It helps you make sustainable investment decisions, so you can be sure that you are investing in the right things that help grow your business further. An EA solution reflects the facts and realities facing your business – it is not a replacement for your gut feeling. We lead ins-pi on instinct, but are not naive and ensure we make regular reality checks.”
The innovation catalyst
ins-pi has developed their strength in innovation through a dialogue with over 300 customers, partners, and employees. The famous “inspi’rator” sessions invite the business community to discuss the company’s product roadmap and exchange ideas, requirements, and experience. “Nobody is smart enough to know everything. We are bringing our customers, partners, and employees together to find new ideas for our products and improve the things we already have. It’s much fun and builds up the trust required for long-term relationships,” says Isenbecker.
Additional open innovation projects with selected partners enable ins-pi to provide new industry-specific solutions.
The rough with the smooth
“If you are waiting for the perfect world to get started – don’t waste your time. Push the boundaries and accept some level of failure when you innovate. As long as you are outcome-driven and provide value to your customers, the small ideas will grow huge, and you will adjust and improve going forward. It is important that you track the interdependencies holistically. EA management is a fantastic vehicle to drive innovation when applied wisely. So don’t just stick to the prescribed academic frameworks!” concludes Kadir Özbayram.
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