Innovation vs excellence

I am reading technology news, opinions and analysis of all kinds every day, as I am sure many of you do as well. In doing this, over the last couple of months I am coming accross a particular word more and more often: INNOVATION. 
At the rate the whole technology industry is innovating their caps off, according to the Internet and technology pundits far and wide, of course, we should have upgrades to just about everything any given day, right? Of course, not! But it is a bit pressuring, isn’t it?
It might also have to do with that notorious outside the box thinking we keep hearing about, like there’s some giant box above us keeping us trapped inside, like in Stephen King’s superb novel Under the Dome. Innovation is a process, a journey, not the trivial thing that the Internet and modern business talk makes it be. It’s not simply figuring out what to do next or beating your competitor to some stats, it’s about seeing problems in a new light, which is not at all something you do everyday.
I work in IT Service Management, a rather obscure branch of technology related school of thought. ITSM best practices, like ITIL for example, are not very keen on innovation, instead they follow a path towards delivery excellence. Isn’t it all about getting the best service to your customer, no matter what branch of technology you’re in?
It’s all about the service quality because the customer rarely cares about the technology or thought effort behind it. He just wants his application to run smoothly, his Internet connection to be stable, his busines to be supported 24/7. Delivery excellence is achieved when the customer forgets you exist in day to day operations. Some would argue that you need to exceed on the customer’s expectations, to get congratulations for good handling of particular situations. As these gestures of appreciation are welcomed, not everyone is in the business of making compliments and people tend to rely on their IT services like on breating air, being something that comes naturally and is there, although you can’t see it. 
And that’s exactly when innovation happens, because when the customer isn’t shooting requests and escalations all the time, you can take a deep breath and look at the big picture. How can we make this better? What is better? How can we do more? What is more? 
Day to day operations often means fire fighting. Delivery excellence is fire prevention. Innovation is understanding the nature of fire.
When everyone talks about innovation, focus on delivering excellence. Your customer will come back for more and you can find out what ‘more’ is. Feel like innovating? Burn your fingertips first.