Strategies to organize for innovation and address roadblocks vary
Technology initiatives need someone to champion the project. That champion can be an executive sponsor or accountable executive whose goal is to garner buy-in and move projects forward. In nearly half of organizations, that person is the chief innovation/strategy officer, while in close to one in three organizations these responsibilities fall to the chief technology officer (or equivalent).
Innovation cannot happen without building a business culture that fosters innovation and extending that culture takes people, skills and agility. For one in three organizations, the most important element for maintaining an innovative organization is fostering an innovative culture, while for one in four organizations the top considerations include leveraging agile concepts and creating the right processes and activities.
However, there may be a disconnect between processes, culture and people: Only 16% of organizations indicated that hiring the right talent is the most important consideration. These findings raise an important question: Do you believe your IT organization has the right processes, talent, and culture to focus appropriately on innovation and transformation efforts?
Do you believe your IT organization has the right processes, talent and culture to focus appropriately on innovation and transformation efforts?
Which of the following best describes your organization's top three challenges when it comes to innovation?
Who is the key person responsible for driving innovation at your company?
Which of the following areas do you consider the MOST important for maintaining an innovative organization?
In regard to the top approaches organizations are using to help drive innovation and achieve the desired results, two out of three are turning to agile and more than half are employing design thinking. This is a positive sign showing that newer ideologies are being adopted by organizations to fuel innovation.
Approaches being used to help drive innovation*
*Question: Are you using any of the following approaches to help drive innovation at your company?
Obtaining executive buy-in, particularly at the board level, is critical to driving successful innovation programs.
How well do innovation leaders bridge the gap between technology and business needs at your company?
Organizations have a relatively positive view when it comes to their ability to bridge the gap between technology and business needs. That said, less than one in three organizations self-report doing “very well” in this area, suggesting there is more work to be done when it comes to understanding innovation goals and their alignment to the business.
There are more positive signs when it comes to IT partnering with the business, with high levels of collaboration reported in areas including innovation strategy, strategic leadership and knowledge sharing. But an estimated one in three organizations indicated collaboration levels are relatively low in areas such as innovation culture and processes as well as talent upskilling and retention.
Of particular note, business and technology leaders in two out of five organizations are not collaborating effectively when it comes to educating non-technical board members on the benefits of innovation investments. Obtaining executive buy-in, particularly at the board level, is critical to driving successful innovation programs.
Notable Observations – Industry and Region
- As expected, regulatory and compliance requirements represent the top innovation challenges for financial services organizations (16%), though they appear to be more significant for numerous other industry groups.
- Talent management, including upskilling, staff retention and resource capacity, are of greater concern to technology organizations compared to those in most other industries.
- For consumer packaged goods, financial services and technology organizations fostering an innovative culture is considered to be of greater importance to them compared to other organizations.
- 24% of organizations in the biotechnology/medical devices industry indicate that regulations and compliance requirements are a key challenge for innovation activities.
- For North America, the top three challenges for pursuing innovation are regulatory and compliance requirements, security risks, and lack of diversity of perspective.
- European - based enterprises say that regulatory and compliance requirements are the top challenge for innovation.
- Regardless of region, respondents claimed that a chief innovation/strategy officer was the key person for driving innovation.