What’s Really Behind the Deceleration of Enterprise Innovation?

|   Mar 2, 2016

The biggest business brains agree: enterprise innovation is the secret sauce for longevity and sustainability, and technology is the key mechanism for enabling radical change in the digital landscape. Through 2016, growth remains a top business priority, and CEOs believe technology-enabled change is the primary means to achieve it, as reported in a 2015 Gartner survey.

As a result, the enterprise world is witnessing a proliferation of innovation labs, increasing spend on research and development (R&D) and a prioritization of innovation and digital transformation like never before. Worldwide, businesses among the Global Innovation 1000 increased R&D investments by more than 5 percent in 2015.

Still, many enterprises across industries continue to experience innovation shortages and get left behind in the market. So what’s behind the deceleration of enterprise innovation? Here are some ideas.

Workers Can’t Collaborate

Employees that have unhindered access to experts and insights across the enterprise perform better on innovation. Given the right tools, employees that can collaborate anytime and anywhere reach breakthroughs faster. About 59 percent of executives in a Forbes Insights survey said an uptick in innovation was a direct result of using cloud-based collaboration technology.

Unfortunately, many enterprises lack resources to support intrapreneurial employees, as well as secure, mobile communication tools for unfettered collaboration. In other words, employees of all levels cannot access the right minds and the right information to accelerate enterprise innovation.

Slooooow Decision-Making

slow enterprise innovationOne reason big organizations fail to execute on innovation: “the molasses factor,” according to The Wall Street Journal. About 72 percent of companies said delayed decision-making put a damper on strategic initiatives, in a 2016 survey by Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Larger organizations naturally encounter more obstacles to execution than startups because of bureaucratic processes that have accumulated over time. But those speed bumps are costing enterprises big time: roughly half in the survey also said they had lost a competitive advantage due to slow decision-making.

The full report concludes that enterprises are in desperate need for more agile decision-making. To get there, big businesses must break down silos, remove irrelevant people from decision-making processes and pool information into one place in order to cut down bureaucracy.

The future of enterprise innovation rests at least in part on the adoption of major cultural change and collaboration tools that enable open innovation.

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Socialcast by VMware (NYSE: VMW) is a social network for business uniting people, information, and applications with its real-time enterprise activity stream engine. Behind the firewall or in the cloud, Socialcast enables instant collaboration in a secure environment. Socialcast is headquartered in San Francisco, California. www.socialcast.com