Just 1 in 6 APJ firms has knack for innovation

Three in every five employees fear their organisation could be irrelevant in three to five years, based on the health of their innovation pipeline and culture, according to The Dell Technologies Innovation Index.

The global study covers a poll of 6,600 employees across more than 45 countries, including 1,700 respondents in APJ — Australia and New Zealand, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. 

Through assessing organisations, respondents are placed on an innovation maturity benchmark ranging from “Innovation Leaders” to “Innovation Laggards.” Just 17% of organisations in APJ can be defined as Innovation Leaders and Adopters.

They have an end-to-end innovation strategy and are well placed to navigate headwinds coming from a global recession, supply chain issues, environmental impacts and more, and continue to grow. 

In APJ, they are 2.1 times more likely to accelerate their innovation during a recession than “Innovation Followers” and Laggards (who are more likely to decelerate). 

This “innovation resilience” (such as determination and ability to innovate during tough times) is credited as part of the reason why in APJ, Innovation Leaders and Adopters are 2.1 times more likely to experience high levels of revenue growth (15%+ expected annual revenue growth in 2022) than Innovation Laggards and Followers. 

As the innovation maturity curve demonstrates, majority of organisations lack a defined innovation strategy (Innovation Laggards and Followers) or are struggling to make gains (“Innovation Evaluators”). 

The Innovation Index is a snapshot in time. Organisations can improve by priming their people, processes, and technology for innovation. 

“To keep up with the rapidly changing global landscape, companies in APJ should look at prioritising innovation alongside managing the day-to-day running of their business,” said Peter Marrs, president of Dell Technologies in APJ.

“Organisations often think it’s always to do with a big idea. They’re waiting for the next disruptive moment,” said Marrs. “However, small, practical ideas can create a ripple effect that leads to greater productivity, profitability and purpose.” 

He said business leaders can do this by aligning innovation projects with their company goals and nurturing a culture of curiosity.

Organisations need help to develop an innovation culture where all ideas can make a difference and learning through failure is encouraged.

In APJ, 59% of respondents believe people leave their company because they haven’t been able to innovate as much as they hoped they would.

Also, 63% say aspects of their company’s culture is holding them back from being as innovative as they want to be / can be. 

Company culture is set and modelled by leadership but 73% of respondents in APJ say their leaders are more inclined to favour their own ideas. Some of the top-cited personal barriers to innovation are a fear of failure and a lack of confidence to share ideas with leaders. 

Similarly, the Innovation Index reveals that businesses are struggling to embed a structured, data-driven innovation process to realise innovation across the organisation. 

Only 28% of IT decision makers say all their innovation efforts are based on data.

Further, only 46% of APJ organisations are aligning innovation projects to company goals. It’s likely, this lack of process and strategy is part of the reason why organisations are struggling to prioritise innovation — the top-cited barrier to innovation impacting teams is a lack of time to innovate due to overwhelming workloads. 

In APJ, 40% of respondents perceive a lack of time to innovate due to workload as a main barrier hindering their peers’ / team’s ability to innovate.