Gartner Research

Utility Scenario: Explorers Must Focus on Pragmatic Innovation

Published: 17 September 2016

ID: G00308510

Analyst(s): Chet Geschickter


Explorer CIOs operate in a status quo environment, yet within organizations that encourage exploratory innovation. They should adapt general-purpose technologies and seek ways to connect to consumer technologies to enable their organization to move into adjacent markets and prepare for change.

Table Of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Recognize When Conditions Support the Explorer Scenario
    • External Environment: Status Quo
    • Innovation Posture: Exploratory
  • An Action Plan for Explorer CIOs
    • Adopt Bimodal IT to Balance Operational Excellence With Exploratory Research and Development
    • Establish a Cross-Functional Digital Innovation Function to Implement the STREET Process for Innovation Management
    • Partner With Business Executives Who Are Tasked With Expansion Into New Business Opportunities, and Provide Enabling Infrastructure
    • Identify and Pursue Opportunities to Apply Advances in General-Purpose and Consumer Technologies to Improve the Existing Business
    • Formalize Innovation Governance to Overcome Common Barriers to Operationalizing Innovation, Such as Micromanagement, Internal Resistance and Analysis Paralysis
  • Focus on Three Areas

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.