Today Tata Communications delivers 24% of the world’s Internet traffic. I love to share that figure because it shows how much our business has changed over the years, from voice to Internet and beyond. We’re strongly focused on ensuring that the world has the Internet it needs to continue the collaborative journey we’re all on these days.
What is incredible to me is how much the Internet has shaped our personal and work lives. A hard copy letter is a rarity these days and yet I am more connected to colleagues, partners and customers than I have ever been. People of all ages communicate instantly creating new worlds in Minecraft or sharing parenting advice on sites like the UK’s Mumsnet.
Yet as much as the Internet has shaped our lives and work, we have shaped the Internet. Mumsnet is a great example of this – the founder Justine Roberts created the site to share childcare tips and has now created a platform that has 4.8 million monthly unique visitors and that has given women a voice in UK politics in a highly noticeable way. Mumsnet took the technology available and shaped a platform that addressed an issue.
For me innovation is not always about the big idea – often real innovation that delivers impact comes from taking something that exists and looking at it in a different way – and these innovations are usually the ones that stick.
In the early days of the IT revolution it was the big giants who created innovation. Companies like Hewlett Packard were renowned for the investment in and focus on R&D, creating colour printers and gene array products for DNA analysis. Companies like HP, IBM, Cisco and others were instrumental in changing the business landscape with inventions that had real impact.
It’s not like that today. Today innovation comes in different packages. Innovation can come from anywhere – a college student, a pop star or even through a crowd-sourced initiative like our own Formula 1® Connectivity Innovation Prize. That is an incredible opportunity. If we harness the enthusiasm and innovation of people with passion and interests from all walks of life and provide a way to bring groups together to collaborate then the potential for really life enhancing innovation is endless.
The Internet plays a huge role in enabling its own development – and here I am talking about the Internet in its broadest sense as a vehicle for enabling communication and collaboration around the globe. In an earlier blog I talked about the process of democratisation of technology. Surely the end result is that the technology enables the creation of the next wave of Internet innovation. Giving people open access to the world can only spark their curiosity and creativity and lead to new ways of leveraging the connectivity, data and collaboration that the Internet makes possible.
How do you think the next wave of Internet innovation will happen? Leave a comment below.
Tata Communications was the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1® between 2012 and 2019. Tata Communications was also the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and Official Digital Transformation Partner to ROKiT Williams Racing until the end of the 2019 season.