In a time of intense competition and rapid technological changes, enterprises irrespective of sector, are struggling for survival and development. Prosperity is inextricably linked to innovative activity, especially witihin cost saving solutions, capacity for interaction to market needs and potential use of knowledge for the benefit of the business. While some companies try to understand the concept of innovation, others are adopting innovative strategies and others have experienced significant benefits from applying innovative activity. Therefore, innovation is identified as an important factor for the creation and maintenance of sustainable competitive advantage in an environment with constantly changing competition rules. But which are the practices contributing to sustainable innovation?
Differentiation. In a globalized environment, the key to enterprise competitiveness is the differentiation from competitors. Product innovation, as well as marketing innovation (the process of developing and creating new ideas and methods to improve sales and product promotions) can provide significant differentiation against competitors, strengthening the identity of the enterprise in the international market.
Human capital is one of the most significant factors for sustainable innovation. Enterprises need to spend enough money and resources to attract and retain talent in their workforce. They need to provide motivation, continuous progress and training, but also provide the opportunity for free expression and creative thinking that makes human capital of the utmost importance for creativity, innovation, and businesses growth.
Digital maturity. Working within web 3.0 and the economy of knowledge, the digital maturity of businesses is an important factor in success. Improving internal technological capabilities can result in increased productivity, increased motivation of human capital, cost reduction, and improvement in processing speed. Theis is why businesses’ digital maturity has a positive effect on innovation activity and on creating sustainable competitive advantage for the business.
Data management. In the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, companies require data-driven approaches. The large amounts of data available to their businesses from various resources offer companies the opportunity to leverage valuable knowledge. Leveraging data provides the C-suite the ability to make better and faster decisions.
Culture of 'Openness'. It is true that the culture of collaboration and open innovation has assisted with creativity and business innovation. The triple helix - academic communities, industries, and policymakers are of the utmost importance in supporting research the contributes to business innovation and, by extension, to business and national economic growth. Many companies, such as General Electric (GE), IBM, and Dell, have development proposals and innovation through specially configured platforms that allow for crowdsourcing.