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‘ME firms see significant surge in innovation amid COVID-19’

‘ME firms see
significant surge 
in innovation 
amid COVID-19’

Tribune News Network
Middle Eastern companies registered a significant surge in their innovation strategy scores on Accenture’s Innovation Maturity Index, as businesses reviewed their strategies due to COVID-19.
However, the report found that despite the pandemic opening doors to embrace new ways of working and doing business, there was only a marginal uptake in companies reimagining themselves, reflected by a one percent increase in the overall index score.
This signifies the regional dichotomy between a culture that sets companies up to innovate new ways of working enabled by technology and traditional ways of doing business, which often requires a physical presence. The report, Accenture Middle East Innovation Maturity Index 2021, surveyed C-level executives between August and October 2020 to understand the extent of the region’s innovation maturity at present.
The report found that 67 per cent of Middle East executives indicate that they have taken measures to modernise their existing technology infrastructure moving from data servers to cloud storage in the past five years. In the next five years, this figure is poised to increase to 86 percent.
“The pandemic triggered new ways of working and doing business,” says Xavier Anglada, Accenture’s strategy and consulting and innovation lead in the Middle East. “However, only a handful of regional companies have put in place structural actions which could help them become agile and flexible in their workforce. Companies must intensify their innovation and make greater strides in their business transformation.”
“This year, we found that 14 per cent of companies that embedded the innovation framework within their businesses were able to deepen their innovation investments intensity through adhering to actions that govern their innovation efforts. We refer to them as ‘Innovation Champions’.”
He noted that during the last five years, extensive governance earned these champions 27 per cent higher profitability than their peers. “In the coming five years, champions can expect that rate to more than double to 58 percent and experience even higher employee productivity by continuing to practice meticulous innovation governance.”
The 2021 maturity index features an exclusive framework designed to measure the enterprises’ innovation maturity capability across industries within two overarching pillars.
The first, Innovate by Design, measures how companies build the foundational governance structures to facilitate innovation by defining an innovation strategy, instilling a culture of innovation, and creating an innovation architecture. The second, Innovation Practices, measures seven innovation practices that companies embed in their operations to thrive.
Although the overall Innovate by Design scores remain unchanged from last year at 60 points, Innovation Strategy scores have rocketed up from 57 points overall last year to 71 this year as businesses were compelled to seriously review their current and future strategies because of the pandemic.