Jul 27, 2011

Companies Accelerating Innovation to Beat Competition - E&Y Survey

A new Ernst & Young study titled ‘Turn Risks and Opportunities into Results' has found that “domestic companies are innovating in an unprecedented manner to beat competition and remain relevant to their target customer base in a fast changing environment” following the recent economic downturn.

The survey of non-executive directors and operational heads was conducted between December 2010 and February 2011 and surveyed more than 700 companies in 15 countries and across industries. Results from this study are markedly different from prior surveys following the past two recessions. Ram Sarvepalli, Ernst &Young’s India leader for risk advisory services, notes “while the past couple of years have been marked by intense cost-cutting, we are now seeing companies responding to competition by innovating, improving execution strategies and investing to improve operational agility and competitiveness .”

The survey lists the top 10 risks and the top 10 opportunities facing global organizations with the top opportunities for domestic companies being: innovation, emerging market demand growth, improving execution strategy across businesses, investing in processes, tools and training for greater productivity, investing in IT and clean technologies, emergence of new marketing channels, excellence in investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, and public-private partnerships.

Ernst & Young expects that innovation will continue to rise in importance by 2013.

“The study confirms that, today, businesses look before they leap. They don’t just seek opportunities, but focus on making sure they have the capabilities and innovative strengths to make a real impact in their chosen markets, says Sarvepalli.

Survey respondents reported four key barriers to innovation success (lack of focus or investment, excessive conservatism; lack of expertise, and inflexibility) with nearly a quarter of those surveyed stating they have not been innovative enough when it comes to innovation in products, services and organizations.

Companies that have been successful in innovating new products and services, cited several factors as enabling innovation – the top two being 1) Organization-wide strategy of repeatable, sustainable innovation and 2) Having a well-established processes for managing innovation.