Agility starts with innovation

In a constantly changing world, companies can’t rely on what they’ve done in the past. The key to continual growth and success comes from embracing innovation and not being afraid to change and adapt.

That’s the case with AvePoint, which went from a small B2B software startup to a leader in the Microsoft cloud space. Along with hard work and resilience, the driving force behind the company’s incredible growth and transformation was its vision and agility.

When AvePoint was founded in 2001, it focused on B2B software delivery via CD-ROM — the norm at the time. As technology changed and Microsoft migrated to new systems, many other startups hesitated to move and evolve because of the complexities. However, AvePoint embraced the challenge and became known for tackling tough challenges. Not every product was an immediate winner, but AvePoint did find great solutions, which it shared with other Microsoft partners to establish itself as a leader.

As Microsoft grew into the cloud, AvePoint was ahead of the curve of others who didn’t understand the technology’s potential. In the age of AI, AvePoint is an established leader in the space because it embraced innovation from the beginning.

When many software companies have failed, AvePoint’s resilience has led to longevity and success. “Things are moving so fast that we have to remain very agile,” said CEO Tianyi Jiang. Today, more than ever, leadership means hands-on leadership. You can't just think pure strategy, armchair general; you have to know your customer.”

How does innovation lead to longevity? Let’s dive into three critical connections:

Innovation requires agility

As we’ve established, innovation can’t happen when companies sit still. By embracing and encouraging new ideas, leaders and companies are developing agility. Markets, technology, and geopolitical frameworks are changing so rapidly that all companies must be agile to respond. Think back to the early days of the pandemic—the companies with an established pattern of innovation could pivot more quickly to unexpected challenges because they weren’t so stuck in their ways. Being open to change and willing to adjust is the foundation of innovation.

Innovation means staying connected to customers

Customer demands and expectations are changing. Companies must understand their customers, stay connected and listen to their suggestions and feedback to stay ahead of those changes. Customer-focused companies regularly innovate to continue creating the best products and experiences for customers, even through minor updates. And in a world where customer experience is a chief differentiator, companies that innovate with customers in mind will stay relevant.

Innovation leads to intelligent risk-taking

By its nature, innovation requires risk-taking. Leaders can’t follow a simple, risk-free path and expect to find lasting success. Innovation sets a path for thoughtful, calculated risks, mainly when those innovations are founded on data and customer feedback. Instead of chasing trends, strategic innovation helps companies make solid decisions to set the stage for long-term success and growth, not just fleeting success.

For long-term success, leaders and companies must embrace innovation and be agile with changing trends and technology. That means looking to the future and being willing to test new ideas, knowing that something will stick and set you up for lasting success.

Written by

Michelle Kaiser
Michelle Kaiser

Senior Editor | CEO.com

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