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Discuss 3 hot topics about innovation related to your chosen Organisation.

Westpac is a bank headquartered in Sydney, Australia that offers financial services. Innovation refers to the action of applying new ideas with the aim of generating value for an institution. The world the Company is operating in is changing rapidly (Bagno, Salerno, & Carneiro Dias, 2017). Structural shifts in the economy, changes in demographics and technology are creating both challenges and opportunities for businesses globally.  Innovation is at Westpac’s heart’s goal of becoming among the leading service-providing companies in the world (Westpac Banking Corporation, 2017).

Westpac has some hot topics regarding innovation which include pay ID. Pay ID is an application that will facilitate quick payments through a client’s phone number. Pay ID will prompt almost instant transfer of funds between authorized accounts. Pay ID will make it simpler for clients to pay you as it enables easier communication of bank details among people through one’s phone number. Pay ID will enable payments to be done in a simple, smarter and real time manner 24/7. Westpac is making principal investments in new businesses to open up innovative opportunities for progress, provide technological ability and resolve strategic challenges. For instance, Westpac has partnered with Vincent Turner, an entrepreneur, to support a digital mortgage broking service known as Uno. Uno lets mortgage clients to broker their individual home loan (Tarasyuk & Koscheyev, 2017). The collaboration offers an opportunity for driving innovation in customer involvement and experience (Yu & Rhee , 2015).  The collaboration will change the process that is driven by a lot of clunky paper work into one that is digitally enabled. Westpac is greatly involved in supporting innovation in Australia. Westpac is the foundation companion of the biggest fintech center in Asia, Stone & Chalk (Yang, Toorn, Thorogood, & Vlasic, 2015). Stone& Chalk aids start-ups to materialize and scale over the partnership with huge establishments internationally. Currently, Stone & Chalk houses over 300 entrepreneurs who work for over 80fintech start-ups who through funding have raised over AU$100 million collectively. The Westpac scholarship program offers over 100 fellowships and scholarships annually as a way of investing in the next generation of leaders (Raghunathan & Maiya, 2017).  Westpac believes that the best way to support Australia’s advancement is to invest in ambitious investors, the bold reformers and the gifted visionaries. The scholarships are centered towards digitization, innovation, and technology of everyday life as well as in creating positive societal transformation attained through communal entrepreneurship.

Vincent Turner Partnership for Digital Mortgage Broking


Westpac’s goal is to be a leader in offering personalized and diversified portfolio management solutions to its clients. An idea that can be used is the development of an electronic ticketing product. This is intended to help commuters using public transport to pay their bus fare through the app. Public transport providers will partner with Westpac. The application will allow funds transfer from the customer’s account to the service provider accounts. The idea also involves issuing of prepaid cards to clients and Android devices to the transport providers. Clients only need to load money into the cards from any Westpac Bank branch and tap on the device to pay their bus fare.

The idea will be streamlined in Westpac’s innovation capabilities in the following ways. The electronic ticketing idea is in line with Westpac’s goal of improving customer experience through digitization. Westpac’s capabilities include offering safe and secure products. The electronic ticketing is a secure way of making real time bus fare payments conveniently. Westpac is aiming at either meeting customer needs while building its profits. Westpac may partner with innovators in a bid to increase their profit margins (David, Clutterbuck, & Megginson, 2016). There is a need to be a cashless society in all sectors. Introduction of this application and prepaid cards will aid in meeting consumer needs. Among Westpac’s innovation capabilities is incubation. Once the idea is pitched to Westpac, they take it to the market and test it to find out the reaction of consumers. Customers are able to give feedback on their take on the innovated product. Westpac then needs to analyze their ecosystem and find out if they have the required personnel and skills to drive the product. They need to analyze if the required tools and processes are in place to drive the idea. Westpac is capable of offering training and advice on how to improve the product and make it better. The developers of the ticketing application will utilize Westpac’s cloud-based advancement capabilities and prototyping tools while developing the application.

Design thinking entails developing a systematic approach to solving problems (Curedale, 2013). It entails understanding the needs of the product. In the case of the ticketing platform the development team is trying to solve the need of using cash to pay bus fare. Firstly, the team would consult experts from both the transport and banking sectors and pitch the idea to them. The team shall also conduct research from users of public transport on their view about the product. This will build on empathy so as to understand their need and experiences while using public means. Secondly, the team shall now define the problem statement after having put together all the information gathered on consultation. This will enable the stakeholders better understand some of the elements and features to include in the ticketing application. Thirdly, the development crew will now need to ideate in a bid to find a solution to the problem identified. Brainstorming and analysis of the worst case scenarios are the main techniques to use (Plattner, Meinel, & Leifer, 2018). Ideation enables identification of as many solutions as possible for any issues that may arise regarding the use of the application or the prepaid cards. Fourthly, the crew will need to develop prototypes which team members can use to test their viability. This involves developing the app and issuing it to a number of commuters and bus conductors to use and share their experiences. This is intended to identify any constraints or problems inherent in the product. Based on the feedback they give, the product may be improved, modified or rejected. Finally, when conducting design thinking the team needs to design the complete product and test it. Directions for use are issued at this stage.

User involvement entails the involvement of the intended users of a product or service in its development (Edvarsson, Gustaffson, Kristensson, Magnusson, & Matthing, 2014). The main parties involved in the ticketing platform are the commuters, conductors, and the bank and public transport service providers. User involvement is vital to enhance successful system implementation and ensure system quality.  User involvement in the development cycle ensures that the developers get all the information they need regarding the application. Despite the process of user involvement being costly and time-consuming, it is worthwhile as valuable input is offered regarding decisions being made about the product. User involvement is related to the quality and usage of the application, attitudes of the users regarding the application and their satisfaction with the output they get from using the application or the prepaid cards. User involvement enables the application to be tailored to meet their needs and the lead users gain a better understanding of the application. User involvement enables inventors to get easy and fast approaches to shaping features into menus (Smith-Jensen, 2011). User involvement allows the system designers to understand and know the user's lexis so that they can communicate using a similar language (Eichhorn, 2014). User involvement of all stakeholders should be thorough since insufficient user involvement results in underperformance once the application has been made available to the public.

Fast integration is required when developing applications aimed at automating business processes and delivering timely services to customers. In our product, integration will involve connecting the bank's systems with those of the public transport service providers. This is crucial since all of them are connected to ensure the success of the application. Fast integration ensures timely response of commands and eliminates duplication (Berggren, 2017). Increased demand for the application will require an addition of new resources to meet this demand. Different databases will need to be integrated to ensure that the application performs effectively. All this require some capital. User involvement is crucial as it is in minimizing costs, in that the designers do not waste resources producing products that the final consumer do not need. Cloud services enable organizations to integrate or link their applications making business processes simpler and automated (Yee & Oh, 2014). Integration enables fast and timely delivery of services to the market. Involvement of the key users in the development of the application will enable the integration to be done in a timely and cost-effective manner (Saugstrup, et al., 2008).  

Scholarships for Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders

Earlier in the application lifecycle, it is important that the developers take their applications on test drives. Prototyping is aimed at eliminating barriers to rapid development and iteration. Prototyping enables approval based on feedback received so that the development of the application can continue. Prototypes often act as objects to be learned from or replicated. Prototyping is vital as it avoids production of poor quality products, over budgeting, and other pitfalls. Prototyping tests the context and content of the user interface as well as its core functionality ( Chua, Leong, & Lim, 2010). The stakeholders who are involved in the entire development process require prototyping to be done so that they can clearly understand and approve the design of the ticketing application and before coding and execution is done. The developers chose to use mockups as their prototyping technique since it is relatively fast, has medium fidelity and allows for collaboration, sharing and usability trials among the stakeholders. There exist mobile prototyping applications that allow for real-time device testing. Prto.io is an instance of a mobile prototyping application the team shall use. Mobile prototyping applications enable developers to focus on ingenuity and creativity (Hacker, 2013).

Cross-functional management entails the management of a team who have different functionalities in their expertise but they all are working towards the attainment of the same objective (Porth, 2011). In the case of developing our application, the expertise of bankers, system developers or designers, the clients among others is needed. Cross-functional management discovers the effects of job rotation, process standardization and technical support on the development of a new product. While job rotation and technical support influence the speed of developing the new product, process standardization and job rotation influence its quality. Cross-functional management also entails the integration of success factors, processes, and principles associated with a collaborative organization. In the development of the application, various stakeholders are in the ongoing development process. Cross management is crucial as it differentiates between managing outcomes and resources in the development process and appreciates the prospective efforts of collaborative management (Bugdol & Jedynak, 2015). Cross-functionality management discusses how various approaches may be instituted to ensure a positive outcome of the end result.

Conclusion

The application may not be suitable for all and the prepaid cards may not be as secure and they are bound to be misplaced. New innovations regarding other options of paying bus fare may thus ensue. An example is the use of compatible mobile phones. The phones have a technology known as the Near Field Communication (NFC). With this product, commuters will just need to tap their handsets at LRT and MRT fare frameworks and also on card readers located in buses (Subtil, 2014). Innovations will need to be done to develop mobile phones that support this technology. Commuters will need to purchase these phones as well as NFC SIM cards so as to enjoy the service. They will require to turn on the NFC function so as to make their payments and also for top-ups (Ahson & Ilyas, 2016). The service will not only allow commuters to make payments but also allow them to make payments in outlets.

Electronic Ticketing: A Possible New Product Offering for Westpac

This payment system may affect our innovation of the ticketing app in that it will cause stiff competition. The SIM card is not only limited to make bus fare payments but it can also be used to make payments in food and other retail outlets as well. However, the ticketing application is only suited for use to make bus fare only. Therefore, this may pose a threat to this product as consumers may prefer the diversified product

References

Chua, . K., Leong, K. F., & Lim, C. S. (2010). Rapid prototyping : principles and applications. Singapore ; Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific.

Ahson, S. A., & Ilyas, M. (2016). Near Fields Communications Handbook. New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Bagno, R. B., Salerno, M. S., & Carneiro Dias, A. V. (2017). Innovation as a new organizational function:evidence and characterization from large industrial companies in Brazil. Production, 1/13.

Berggren, C. (2017). Managing knowledge integration across boundaries. Oxford University Press.

Bugdol, M., & Jedynak, P. (2015). Integrated management systems. Cham, Switzerland : Springer.

Curedale, R. (2013). Design Thinking: Process and Methods Manual. Createspace Independent Pub.

David, S., Clutterbuck, D., & Megginson, D. (2016). Beyond Goals. New York: Routlegde.

Edvarsson, B., Gustaffson, A., Kristensson, P., Magnusson, P., & Matthing, J. (2014). Involving Customers in nEW Service Development. London: Imperial College Press.

Eichhorn, B. R. (2014). The impact of user involvement on information system projects. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University.

Hacker, W. (2013). Mobile Prototyping with Axure 7. Packt Publishing.

Plattner, H., Meinel, C., & Leifer, L. (2018). Design thinking research : making distinctions: collaboration versus cooperation. Cham, Switzerland : Springer.

Porth, S. J. (2011). Strategic Management:: A Cross-functional Approach. Boston: Pearson.

Raghunathan, B., & Maiya, R. (2017). How to Use Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud Technologies to Transform the Business Processes of Banks and the Banking Experience. SMACing the Bank.

Saugstrup, D., Christensen, Skouby, Erik, K., Tadayoni, & Reza. (2008). USER INVOLVEMENT IN THE INNOVATION PROCESS: In a mobile service and application development perspective. Technical Information Center of Denmark , 1/257.

Smith-Jensen, L. (2011). Moving Innovation with User Involvement . Master’s thesis: Master of Social Science in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , 1/101.

Subtil, V. (2014). Near Field Communication with Android Cookbook. Packt Publishing.

Tarasyuk, M., & Koscheyev, A. (2017). INNOVATIONS IN THE GLOBAL DIGITAL FINANCIAL SECTOR: ESTIMATION OF TRANSFORMATIONS. ACTUAL PROBLEMS OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

Westpac Banking Corporation. (2017). 200 : the Westpac story. Sydney, N.S.W: Westpac Banking Corporation.

Yang, J., Toorn, C. V., Thorogood, A., & Vlasic, A. (2015). Development of Information Systems Project Portfolio Management Capabilities:A Case Study. Association for Information Systems.

Yee, J. T., & Oh, S.-C. (2014). Technology Integration to Business [recurso electrónico] Focusing on RFID, Interoperability, and Sustainability for Manufacturing, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management. 

Yu, G. J., & Rhee , S.-Y. (2015). Effect of R&D Collaboration with Research Organizations on Innovation: The Mediation Effect of Environmental Performance . Sustainability, 1/19.

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