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It has been estimated that approximately 50 percent of technology implementation failures are due to scheduling and budget issues and 27 percent are due to customer dissatisfaction. If typical technology solutions face these odds, how can riskier emerging technology and innovation activities succeed? This paper describes the IBM Technology Adoption Program (TAP), an effort by its technology and innovation team to formalize its innovation management discipline. Instead of using structured governing processes, the program uses an organic approach for accelerating change. TAP is focused on cultivating and harnessing the existing early adopter and innovator communities within the enterprise to shorten the technical development cycle and deliver solutions that engage a variety of users, ensuring rapid, widespread accommodation. We describe TAP in the context of the challenges enterprises face in fostering and measuring innovation, focusing on three key areas: rallying the community, encouraging the technical investment supporting the community, and gauging the priority and value of new technology. We present several examples to illustrate the benefits that materialize from overcoming obstacles and delivering significant innovation.
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