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November 29, 2016updated 30 Nov 2016 9:04am

Digital innovation, more than just the latest technology

Mendix CTO says digital innovation should have a stronger focus than just technology.

By Hannah Williams

Following the rise of digital innovation, the increase in many businesses creating different innovations has been significantly noticeable.

Johan den Haan, CTO, Mendix

Johan den Haan, CTO, Mendix

CBR asked Chief Technology Officer of Mendix, Johan den Haan to share some insight on what businesses need to know when deploying digital innovation and also what Mendix can do to support them.


CBR: What do you feel is the most significant starting point for digital innovation?

JH: People tend to focus first on the technology, but I think the most important starting point for digital innovation is creativity and ideation. We’re seeing new technologies emerge and become commodities at an increasing pace. What this means is that simply having access to technology is no longer the source of competitive advantage; it’s how you apply them to transform your industry and business. To do that effectively and at scale, you need to create an environment that brings people with ideas together with people with the technical aptitude to bring them to life.


CBR: What software offerings can be offered to businesses looking to deploy digital innovation?

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JH: Many vendors are trying to latch onto the digital transformation wave. But digital innovation means so much more than a web content management system or marketing automation platform, for instance. Digital innovation, in my opinion, is about businesses turning their unique data, processes and knowledge into custom applications that deliver better experiences for customers, employees and partners.

Many technologies play a role in this process, from cloud computing to IoT, big data and machine learning platforms. But what’s most critical, to my point about ideation, is low-code or rapid application development platforms. These platforms enable business and technical users to collaborate together to turn new ideas into applications through short, frequent iterations. They create a breeding ground for rapid experimentation using a test-and-learn, fail-fast approach, with the ability to instantly deploy and scale to production-grade enterprise applications.


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