Innovation winter as projects fail to meet reality

Published on the 10/04/2019 | Written by Heather Wright

Tech projects projects_Oracle

How are Australia and NZ faring?…

Less than 20 percent of innovation projects are seeing the light of day with a lack of focus and leadership, poor processes and ongoing resistance to change damning the projects to failure.

The figures, from an Oracle report surveying more than 5,000 decision makers globally, show a worryingly small proportion of innovation projects are being seen through to fruition, with two-thirds of the decision makers across APAC surveyed saying 80 percent of innovation projects never make it to market.

That puts the region well behind the UK, where respondents reported that fewer than 50 percent of innovation projects were making it to market, and comes despite APAC figures in suggesting companies who do invest in innovation are reaping the returns.

“The research confirms the growing feeling that there is an impending innovation winter coming.”

New Zealand and Australia, however, appear to be faring better than the wider APAC region. Drilling down into the local figures, 36 percent of Australian and 36.8 percent of New Zealand respondents said just 11-20 percent of projects made it to launch. For 11.6 percent of the Australian businesses, just one to five percent of the projects made it to fruition. That figure was much lower in New Zealand, where only 1.8 percent said only one to five percent of projects made it to market.

Just 7.6 percent of Australian companies reported that they were getting 51 percent or more of their innovation projects to launch, below the global average of 10 percent. New Zealand, however, came out ahead of the global trend, with 15.8 precent reporting 51 percent or more attaining launch.

The poor execution of innovation projects is costing companies, preventing new products, services and customer experiences from reaching the market, Oracle says.

In APAC, where more than 1,850 decision makers took part in the Having a Successful Innovation Agenda survey, one third of companies said they were overwhelmed by too many innovation projects while 28 percent cited ongoing inertia and resistance to change.

And apparently, being a high growth company doesn’t guarantee success. Of the companies surveyed who are experiencing ‘strong to significant growth’ 86 percent said they’re investing in innovation. But on the flip side, the report also shows over commitment issues were particularly evident in high growth companies, with 41 percent reporting an excess of parallel initiatives.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said lack of process was hampering innovation efforts, with a lack of vision (27 percent) and a lack of commitment from business (23 percent) were other major barriers.

“While Asia has taken a lead globally in innovation, the research confirms the growing feeling that there is an impending innovation winter coming,” Andrew Sutherland, Oracle APAC and EMEA senior vice president of technology and systems says.

“In today’s highly competitive global economy, companies cannot afford to sit back. Those who do risk being outpaced with little hope of catching up. Instead they need to look at the barriers and actively seek to address them.

“With an effective and supportive culture, clear vision from leaders, the prioritisation and funding of chosen projects and new approaches like co-innovating, activities in this area are more likely to see success. Being innovative isn’t just about ideas, it’s about execution.”

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