How to innovate in a cautious industry

Your Opinion
Published: 21.07.22

Many startup founders dream of creating a solution that is immediately embraced by the marketplace. In the consumer sector, and even some business-to-business industries, this can certainly happen.

However, in conservative industries, like government services, critical infrastructure, and others, things are often much different.

These industries tend to adopt new innovations at a much slower pace for a variety of reasons, including procurement processes, politics, and funding. But most often, it’s because they are responsible for providing high-stakes services that have far-reaching impacts on people.

Although there is a great responsibility on these organizations to ensure service continuity for the protection of people, and any disruption or failed tech deployment can have devastating impacts, it doesn’t mean there can’t be innovation. In fact, successful innovation in these areas can have long-lasting positive changes that enhance quality of life for entire communities.

Determine Customer Needs And Work Backward

Rather than creating a new innovation and hoping for adoption, it’s best to figure out the customer’s needs, then work back from there. This involves spending time with them to determine how your solution integrates with their systems, and then iteratively developing an offering—in lockstep with the customer.

Be Customer-Obsessed

It’s important to note that the job doesn’t stop when the customer’s new system goes into production. You must always keep a pulse on the customer’s use of the solution and their evolving needs. By always going above and beyond all expectations, it ultimately reinforces your passion to meet their needs and signals your seriousness as a trusted innovator.

Find The Right Partners

For many startups, providing this information to win a contract is not an option. This is why it’s ideal to partner with larger companies. By finding a prime contractor, you can allow them to take the lead on contracts and integrate your solutions into their offerings. You can also leverage their sales force for opening the door to new opportunities.

Keep Your Focus

Even in technologically conservative industries, the competition can be fierce. As soon as your solution gains traction, new competitors will rapidly emerge—some may even have deeper marketing and sales resources.

It’s best to remain focused on innovation and anticipate future customer needs. While cautious industries tend to move a bit slower, being one step ahead when it comes to innovation development is critical.

By putting the customer first and always helping them meet their critical missions, it is possible to become a true innovator in industries that are conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies.

Cathcart Technology