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UK organisations failing to innovate as budgets and skills gaps tighten

Budget constraints and skills gaps are topping the list of challenges standing in the way of innovation for 71% organisations across many business sectors in the UK and Ireland, despite almost three quarters (74%) saying that innovation is vital to their survival as a business, according to new research.

The research, commissioned by InterSystems, the leading provider of next generation solutions for critical enterprise digital transformations, and conducted by data analyst Vitreous World, polled more than 300 business leaders across healthcare, financial services, fintech, supply chain, and education sectors in the UK and Ireland. Among the findings are stark differences between the attitudes towards and capabilities for innovation across sectors.

Skills gaps surfaced as a recurring challenge for organisations across all sectors. More than a third (34%) collectively cite a lack of skills to understand and analyse data as their biggest challenge when attempting to use data to drive innovation initiatives. When asked how innovation initiatives could be improved, almost half (47%) stated by getting access to real-time data, with this rising to 60% among fintechs. Forty-five percent of the total respondents think their innovation initiatives would be helped by using more or better data and insights.

Chris Norton, Managing Director, InterSystems, commented: “In today’s landscape of constant change and uncertainty, digital transformation strategies and traditional organisation practices will continue to be tested. To meet evolving customer demands, guard against market volatility, and navigate the impact of geopolitical events, digital investment is a necessity. However, just digitising what you have today is not enough. Organisations must focus on innovation and expand its impact to create new value.”

Other key findings include:

    • Almost a third of those surveyed (32%) cite technology constraints as a major barrier to innovation, while more than a quarter (26%) struggle to keep up with the latest innovation or technologies, which rises to 43% in education.
    • Thirty-one percent of healthcare respondents view reluctance to change as one of the biggest barriers to innovation.
    • Just 11% of organisations have reached their current digital transformation goals, dropping to only 3% of those within education.
    • Complying with changing regulation and insufficient skills in-house were found to be the biggest difficulties organisations face with interoperability, with education respondents in particular struggling with regulation changes (57% vs an average of 49%). Meanwhile 41% of financial services respondents say that their current data platform does not facilitate interoperability with financial services standards.
    • An overwhelming 94% of supply chain respondents revealed they are willing to accept some degree of risk to reach their innovation goals, compared with 85% of overall respondents.
    • More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) are using data to enable and drive innovation across their organisation, however, often face challenges including data inconsistencies and unreliability, to delays in accessing the data.
    • Almost a third (32%) of those surveyed think innovation helps their organisation get a competitive advantage
    • Eighty-five percent of organisations rely on third-parties to plan, collaborate, and deliver innovation strategies.

“Innovation is now key to long term business survival. Without innovation to differentiate organisations and create new customer experiences, then success is just about process efficiency, cost, and price. For all business sectors, scalable and sustainable innovation is underpinned by reliable digital infrastructure, analytics, arming staff with skills and ultimately with timely access and action to the right data,” added Norton.

To gain access to the full research report, ‘The InterSystems Innovation Index’, please click here: https://www.intersystems.com/uk/uki-summit/innovation/