There are two types of business innovation, namely Product and Business Process.
1. Product innovation: New or improved good or service that differs significantly from the firm’s previous goods or services and that has been introduced on the market.
Types of products (OECD, 2018):
Goods: include tangible objects and some knowledge-capturing products which ownership rights can be established and whose ownership can be transferred through market transactions.
Services: intangible activities that are produced and consumed simultaneously and that change the conditions (e.g. physical, psychological, etc.) of users.
2. Business process innovation: New or improved business process for one or more business functions that differs significantly from the firm’s previous business processes and that has been brought into use in the firm.
Business process innovation is implemented when brought into use by the firm in its internal or external operations. Implementation occurs when the business process is used on an ongoing basis in the firm’s operations.
Digital technologies are pervasive across business processes (used to codify processes and procedures, add functions to existing processes and enable the sale of processes as services). Implementation of business process innovations is often tied to the adoption of digital technologies.
Business processes can be of six different types:
- Production of goods and services
- Distribution and logistics
- Marketing and sales
- Information and communication systems
- Administration and management
- Product and business process development
A Business Model Innovation includes all core business processes such as the production, logistical, marketing and co-operative arrangements in use as well as the main products that a firm sells, currently or in the future, to achieve its strategic goals and objectives. A Business Model Innovation often combines a method for better meeting the needs of users relative to what competitors can deliver and a profit formula for earning income from delivering utility to customers.
Another aspect of business innovation is the difference between innovation and invention. An invention may require technological resources to become concrete. An innovation, however, does not depend on technological aspects to be realised. Thus, it all comes down to whether the effort can be implemented or not. In this sense, an invention is an innovation if it can be implemented.
A thought to consider on this lesson:
See the figure below and decide whether the examples consist of an invention or innovation. Try to explain why. Remember: an invention implies use of technology, but will not be an innovation if there is no implementation.