When it comes to business success, innovation is the name of the game. Think of the world’s most brilliant businesspeople – the likes of Elon Musk, Marc Benioff and Larry Page – and the common thread is that they’re driven to constantly think differently and push the envelope.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the unlikely mouthpiece to whom the phrase “If you don’t move forward, sooner or later you begin to move backward” is credited. Business-wise, it’s a valid point, and places innovation front and centre.

We at Automic wanted to find out exactly where innovation lies within the modern business, and particularly examine the impact that technology has in relation to progress. Our research suggests that executives believe strongly in the ability of technology to be transformative and a key driver towards innovation.

So Far, So Good

Yet, just 10% say they are using innovation to drive competitive advantage, while 85% of IT budgets are being used to simply “keep the lights on”. As a result, 70% of businesses say a focus on everyday IT tasks is holding them back.

85% of our respondents say that achieving technological transformation is critical to driving innovation for their business in the next three years, and rightly so – the Internet of Things and new developments in cloud, big data and SaaS are poised to create a technological explosion.

But are businesses ready? No – 70% say they haven’t taken advantage of new technologies to run the business more efficiently. This means they’re already on the back foot. The focus on the everyday, it seems, can be likened to putting blinkers on a horse. Having to take care of the everyday leaves little room for looking elsewhere.

The need now is for these execs to become masters of change, and evangelise the need for transformation. Only by doing this can original ideas become a reality, and therefore a commercially valuable asset to the organisation. Meanwhile, the same execs need to be more proactive in driving strategy and educating their C-level peers remains vital if transformation is to take place.

When you consider that technology is now being integrated into the everyday life of the consumer – the so-called third wave of computing – to become synonymous with our natural behaviours, it becomes even more crucial that companies are in a position to connect the physical with the digital.

It’s about being smarter, from a connectivity point of view, using transformative technology to keep the business on track while new ideas are pursued.

Aim To Thrive, Not Just Survive

Addressing automation and integrating business operations for cost reductions and efficiency gains remains the first step to enable strategic projects. While it seems like a daunting proposition, there are three simple steps to drive change:

  • RUN THE BUSINESS – Ensure operational business processes run faster, smarter and with the least amount of risk
  • BUILD THE BUSINESS – Ensure the release of applications and updates happens at high frequency without any negative consequences to operations
  • TRANSFORM THE BUSINESS – Develop true innovation through visibility of new opportunities.