2. Innovation takes on many forms
The survey addressed the various forms of innovation and the specific actions that firms take to promote it. Those actions included a wide range of common techniques and tactics, from the strategic (like creating a “NewCo” business model independent of legacy) to the more tactical (such as creating innovation labs and teams and dedicated “test-and-learn” environments), as well as both internal teams and external partners (including FinTechs).
Further, the most popular actions include both technology and organizational dimensions. Indeed, in terms of expanding efforts in the future, measuring innovation and creating more leadership accountability were the top two answers. Steps such as these help make innovation an inherent part of operations, which lays the groundwork for industrial-strength capabilities.
Digital leaders show the practices and actions that have the most impact. It’s noteworthy that the biggest gaps are in the organizational factors, such as measuring innovation (which 88% of leaders do, vs. 41% of laggards). A similar gap (84% vs. 42%) exists when it comes to identifying executives with accountability and budget for innovation. They are purposeful and holistic in formalizing innovation, which is guided from the top levels of the organization.
3. Innovation priorities will shift moving forward
The survey also asked what companies have done recently and where they plan to focus in the next 12–24 months. Compared to their top three areas of focus over the last 24 months, leaders will place greater emphasis on improving efficiency and productivity, improving the customer experience and implementing new ways of working. The implication is that leaders anticipate great progress in terms of deploying platform-based business models.
The views of CIOs are very similar to those of the most mature firms. More than two-thirds, or 68%, are focused on improving efficiency and productivity. Improving the customer experience (58%) and implementing new ways of working (56%) are other top priorities.