When it comes to computing infrastructure, the innovation of modern computing probably started with the Z3 in 1941. This act of innovation created an entirely new class of activity - computing infrastructure - which has evolved over time through various stages with custom built examples (LEO etc), products (IBM 650 and onwards) and eventually led to commodity and utility provision. For reference, the full cycle is innovation, custom built, product (with rental services) and commodity (with utility services).
- Innovation of a genuinely new activity which is distinct from the evolution it enables.
- Evolution of an activity to custom-built, product (rental) to commodity (utility services). This process is commonly called commoditisation.
- Sustaining changes dominating within domains (i.e. product)
- Disruptive changes dominating between domains causing a discontinuity with the past (i.e. product to utility services)
- Enablement and acceleration of the innovation of higher order systems through commoditisation of lower order subsystems (i.e. creative destruction and componentisation)
- A difference between consumer and provider perspective.
- Breakthrough Innovation
- Feature, Product and Service Innovation
- Sustaining Innovation
- Disruptive Innovation
- Loads of Innovation (paradigm shift etc)
- It's my product, of course it's an Innovation ...
Or in other words Innovation.
You have no hope with spotting the pattern under such circumstances and it's no wonder that people get confused with this subject. This has severe impacts on management practices but that's a post for another day.