As we head to JAC, we’re asking ourselves: Does innovation really exist?

We’re only a few short weeks from JAC, the Jack Henry Annual Conference, renowned for spotlighting new technology ideas and financial services solutions. As we head into the conference – and consider the ongoing effect of FinTech on our industry, as well as the growing focus on customer experience – we’re asking ourselves, “Does innovation really exist?”

To be fair, this is more a philosophical discussion than anything else, because innovation, as most of us think about it, surely exists. We’re met with fresh ideas and new financial products every day.

That got me thinking, though.

How many of these fresh ideas actually are innovative? How many are evolutions of innovative ideas that already exist? And what is innovation anyway?

Everyone has a different definition of innovation

Idea to Value, an online community for creativity and innovation, wanted to know, too. Nick Skillicorn, Idea to Value’s chief editor, reached out to more than a dozen innovation experts and asked them how they define the term. For the most part, he received more than a dozen different responses.

Jorge Barba, a partner at Blu Maya, defined it as “the future delivered.”

Southern Growth Studio’s Michael Graber said innovation is “new, organic value creation by applying creativity, in-depth relationships with consumers and customers, and new thinking.”

Meanwhile, innovation coach Robert Brands explained innovation as “any variation, as long as it includes ‘new’ and it addresses customer needs and wants.”

So what is innovation? Is it all of that?

Yes, if you boil all those definitions down to one “ultimate definition of innovation.”

That’s what Idea to Value did, landing on a data-driven definition that calls innovation: “The execution of an idea which addresses a specific challenge and achieves value for both the company and the customer.”

That definition really sticks with me, although I do think we take it a step further at Hyland. For us, innovation is more than addressing customer challenges and adding value for our customers. We strive to extend that to our customer’s customers, as well.

Innovation in action: loan document tracking

Take, for example, our new loan document tracking solution. The solution provides a complete view of prospect pipeline by tracking information as soon as the financial institution receives a lead. It captures information electronically from the very beginning of the process. But that’s not the innovation.

The real innovation is how it solves a specific challenge that lenders have dealt with for some time.

That’s how First National Bank of America’s Jon Hinsman sees it. Hinsman is FNBA’s records department manager.

“The solution’s approach was innovative,” says Hinsman. “A completely different way of looking at the problem. While many businesses use OnBase to track documents and document types, most banks are searching for a way to track loans.”

In other words, a solution that will view the loan as an object in and of itself, understanding the documents that make the loan whole. The solution does the vital work of tracking a loan’s base set of documents throughout the life of the loan.

It addresses a specific challenge that achieves value for the customer. And the customer’s customer, as loans are closed faster and serviced better.

Keep customers front of mind

Innovation.

So, does it really exist? Of course it does.

But it does us good to define what innovation is and how it affects our customers and our customers’ customers. As you roam the tradeshow floor at JAC this year, keep that in mind.

Want to read more about FNBA’s experience with Hyland’s loan document tracking solution? Check out the case study.

Want to learn more in person at JAC? Come visit us in booth 620 and join the conversation!

Bryan Boynar

Bryan Boynar

Bryan Boynar is Hyland's global solution marketing manager for the financial services industry.

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