Time to change innovation tune

weekly roundup Speaking at IDA's Distinguished Speaker series in Singapore this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at length about innovating to stay competitive, which was hardly a surprise.Innovation as the new mantra has been frequently repeated at industry events, including last week's Asia-Pacific healthcare IT conference held in the island-state.

weekly roundup Speaking at IDA's Distinguished Speaker series in Singapore this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at length about innovating to stay competitive, which was hardly a surprise.

Innovation as the new mantra has been frequently repeated at industry events, including last week's Asia-Pacific healthcare IT conference held in the island-state. Healthcare professionals called for the industry to make better use of IT, or risk lagging behind other industries in the race to provide better customer service.

I appreciate the rhetoric on innovation, although one might wonder if computer industry visionaries have run out of things to say.

Ballmer drove home the point that innovation does not occur overnight, citing the example of Windows, which took 10 years to become popular.

Indeed, innovation is a long-term endeavor, and sometimes a painful one.

Industry speakers at last week's healthcare conference spoke enthusiastically about their new-found ability to provide better patient care--thanks to the Internet and IT--but they described, in the same breath, their journeys as "long" and "painful".

Perhaps, it is time to go beyond the call for innovation and to address the fears, uncertainties and frustrations of implementing IT at the workplace. After all, how many times have we heard about an IT project failing due to poor communication and lack of user involvement and acceptance? What other issues of innovation have yet to be--or should be--discussed?

In other news this week, read and watch what industry observers have to say about India's outsourcing future in Insight India, the first in a series of special reports on Asia's hottest IT markets. In addition, each country report provides industry facts and figures, as well as basic IT adoption indicators. Also, Asian markets choose the same RFID route, while Symantec and Huawei set up a joint venture company to develop security and storage appliances.