Innovation spend is increasing, but ROI is decreasing, says Accenture

Fortune favours the bold, or so we thought.

According to new research from Accenture, the professional services firm, more than half (57%) of businesses making significant investments in innovation have underperformed against industry peers when it comes to growth or market value.

At the same time, almost one-third (29%) of those Accenture surveyed expect to increase their investments in innovation by more than 50% over the next five years.

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“The fact that return on investment overall is dropping is a worrying trend. Business are spending more than ever, but their inability to see proper returns is shocking,” said Arabel Bailey, MD for UK&I at Accenture. “One of the reasons for this could be that many organisations still see innovation as a peripheral activity separate to the core business; an “ad-hoc creative process” rather than a set of practices that will fundamentally change their way of doing business. It’s like going jogging once a month and then expecting to be able to run a marathon.

“Over the last five years, roughly £2.5tn was spent on innovation worldwide. Yet, the study shows it is not how much you spend that matters, it is how you spend it. The companies bucking the trend and seeing the biggest returns are investing in bold, watershed moves rather than incremental shifts.”

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“The companies reaping the biggest rewards show a “go big or go home” mentality by investing in truly disruptive innovation projects,” added Bailey. “They don’t just tinker around the edges.”

Bailey also argued that some companies just chase the latest tech trends without thinking about how to connect what they’re spending to the biggest problems or opportunities in their business.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future

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