The New York Times and Boston Scientific :
Two Different Ways of Innovating with Information Technology
1. As stated in the case, The New York Times chose to deploy their innovation support group as a shared service across business units. What do you think this means? What are the advantages of choosing this approach? Are there any disadvantages? Shared services have long been seen as a supporting unit for the rest of the business with limited impact outside of the bottom line. However, companies and directors of shared services face mounting pressure to make significant contributions other than to the bottom line. Growth and innovation, two of the most critical issues facing companies today, are historically, not the chief concerns of staff functions or of shared services. However, shared services focus on process management expertise forms a critical tool for cost-effective growth. This process management discipline, leveraged through innovation initiatives, allows companies to overcome shortages of key technical talent and lower product cost curves, and expand into international markets. At the New York Times, tough times have elevated IT-enabled innovation to the top of the agenda. A research and development group, created in 2006 operates as a shared service across nearly two dozen newspapers, a radio station, and more than 50 web sites. The role is to accelerate the entry onto new platforms by identifying opportunities, conceptualizing, and prototyping ideas. The group work within a common framework based on idea generation, development, and diffusion throughout the business. The team’s work is intended to supplement and support innovation taking place within the business units. Advantages :
Shared services units would also influence how companies manage their human capital, financial capital and technology, arguably three of the most important components of a successful company today....