The term E-Novation was created by the research team of enovationmatters.com, which consists of Ehsan Ehsani, Hazhir Rahmandad, Robert Shelton and also Frank Piller. They recently published some results of their first E-novation study regarding the use of collaborative web-based tools for innovation and product development.
Personally, I am not a fan of this new creation of "E-Novation". I think it refers to much to the late 90s with all its E-Commerce etc. Additionally, I don't think we need another term for web-based innovation tools. But anyway, it highly appreciate their empirical approach. Nowadays, too much theories about innovation in general are build without any empirical evidence. Hence, we are in desperate need of empirical studies which can prove our theories and concepts.
In the end, they collected a worldwide sample of 203 companies (main focus nordic countries and US) with no specific industry focus (also service companies were included).The study shows, that most companies already recognize the big and strategic impact of collaborative web-based tools, but they are not yet using them in an adequate way. The focus of "E-Novation" mainly lies in the early phases of product development, but commitment to this tools is missing in the later phases of product development. Major motive for adoption of "E-Novation"-strategies is to speed up the innovation process and to get better and more consumer insight.
Already 42% of the sample is using external online communities for product development. Internally the adoption rate is already higher with 57%. These results seem very high for me, possibly indicating a potential response bias.
Especially interesting is the year of adoption: External online communities were explored by mid 2007 (average), whereas internal online communities were already used in 2006. Innovation intermediaries were not adopted before 2008.
The decision about which "E-Novation"-method to use is not clearly delegated to one functional role: 38% delegate this decision to the innovation committee, 27% to IT committee, and 35% to the strategy committee. More important is the role of individuals taking the lead when it comes to adoption of "E-Novation"-strategies. 40% of the sample have an individual champion in the company who fosters E-Novation.
In the end, only 50% of the companies are satisfied with internal and external online communities which shows future potential for improvement.
Get the full summary report PDF file here.