ICT and user-led innovations
Information and communications technology, the internet especially, provides companies developing products and services with an enormous range of opportunities for gathering data on the hopes, wishes, needs and experiences (as users) of customers. Companies can use the network to make it possible for their customers to become far more actively and deeply involved in the development of products and services.
But ICT also affords consumers new opportunities to exchange information on customer experiences and have an influence on innovation in business through, for example, user communities. Well-documented examples of user-led innovations can be found in the areas of programming computer operating systems and producing digital content.
A favourable environment for demand- and user-led innovation can be created if, for example, attention is focused on research into demand-led innovation, more dynamic interaction between producer and consumer, and adapting regulation to facilitate this sort of innovation. Important environmental factors for demand-led innovation include the existence of intellectual property rights, standardisation, working together and the strengthening of the pioneer market.