Our second Innovation Index, a survey of 1,000 business and IT executives, provides a comprehensive look at how organizations across industries are prioritizing business strategies, digital investments, and innovation to create value.

Executive Outlook

Unlike the past 24 months when most organizations and employees played defense by focusing on basic needs, a growth mindset now predominates despite continued market uncertainty. And while 23 percent of executives across industries still fear negative impacts from geopolitical and climate change, most organizations are hopeful for the future and feel more prepared to conquer disruption with resiliency and speed. They also have a renewed appreciation for the role an engaged workforce brings to sustainable success. Innovation is increasingly a long-term play and organizations are more confident and proactive in their approach to practical innovation too.

51% Growing the Business
48% Controlling Costs & Increasing Profitability
45% Increasing Process Efficiency & Productivity
39% Reducing Cybersecurity Risks

Challenges Persist

Although executive confidence grew significantly with more than 80% saying they performed average or above average in terms of profitability and operating cost reduction, familiar concerns persist.

  • Legacy Technology
  • Poor Customer Experiences
  • Workforce Woes
  • Data Dilemmas
  • Outdated technology is the #1 challenge to innovation
  • Lack of interoperability increased 15%
  • 1 in 3 report ineffective digital channels
  • Only 47% are “highly effective” at delivering high-quality products
  • Ethical concerns from customers have doubled
  • Only 42% are completely confident they can maintain customer trust in data privacy
  • Only 34% have addressed work/life balance
  • Only 1 in 5 have remote working options
  • Less than 20% have optimized hybrid working options
  • Only 2 in 5 say data creates value for their organizational culture
  • 43% say their data is inaccurate and not useful
  • Fewer than half are completely confident in their organization’s data-driven decision making

How Market Leaders Are Moving Ahead

Leaders in our study who focused these last two year on four key factors — value and speed, resiliency, insights and a winning workforce — are ahead of the game. Almost 50% of leaders are more likely to be profitable and dedicated to developing an innovation-focused culture. They’re also more able to deliver speed of service, drive operational cost reductions, use data to inform decision making and offer flexible work options for their employees.

How did they do it?

  • Integrated new technologies into their processes to prepare for global changes
  • Used technology and automation to orchestrate CX engagements in real-time
  • Invested in reskilling initiatives to include customer behavior
  • Focused in on new reskilling/upskilling initiatives to build the workforce of the future

Practical Innovation Pays Off

Staying fresh, relevant and ahead of the competition is a differentiator between those who survive and those who thrive. Leaders who focus on driving innovation—the development of new processes, products or services—are primed to achieve greater growth, efficiency and profitability.

In terms of innovation, 42% said creating gradual, continuous improvements on existing products and services generates the most return on investment – with a 30% increase year-over-year of those executives who say their organization’s innovation agenda is proactive. Executives who invested in Internet of Things (70%), Artificial Intelligence (66%) and Machine Learning (62%) are also seeing ROI.

Technology is the Foundation for Growth Now and in the Future

Technology Adoption Today
Technology Adoption in Two Years
  • Deployment of mobile applications has doubled to 74%
  • Edge computing has tripled to 30%
  • Composite applications use has quadrupled to 43%
  • 93% believe that AI will be in common use by 2024
  • 92% will be using public cloud
  • 67% will be using private cloud
  • 70% expect to use predictive analytics in two years