SA must accelerate innovation to revive economy

October 17, 2017 4:09 pm0 commentsViews: 20

20171017_170710By GIFT NDOLWANE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa must innovate faster to ensure stable economic growth, Accenture, the global professional services company, said at the release of its Innovation Index 2017.
The past year has seen only marginal growth in innovation by South African companies.
From the Accenture Innovation Conference held in Johannesburg on Tuesday,
it emerged the country had seen a moderate increase in innovation, scoring additional two points from 2016 to reach 52 points in 2017.
Over a three-year period, the score has only increased by six points. This growth, according to analysts, is not advancing at the pace required to translate into stable economic growth.
“In a rapidly digitising business environment where new players are disrupting traditional revenue streams across all industry sectors, it is now more important than ever for companies to be stepping up their
innovation game,” said William Mzimba, Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa and Chairman of Accenture Africa.
He said digital innovation was reshaping industries by disrupting traditional business and operating models.
It also had a profound impact on society, presenting both challenges and
opportunities for businesses and policy-makers on the African continent.
“Innovation champions know this and their approach is seeing them achieve almost double the innovation ROI (return on investment) of the rest of the market,” Mzimba said.
The index suggests that South African companies are not spending their allocated budgets on innovation due to economic uncertainties. On average, companies are putting aside 45 percent of their annual revenue for
innovation developments, yet actual spending is cautious and conservative at 36 percent.
Yusof Seedat, Director at Accenture Research, key is to establish the most effective way to drive the innovation agenda in these challenging times.
“The good news, however, is that pockets of excellence do exist,” Seedat said.
Accenture measured innovation maturity across five stages: Innovation Strategy, Ideation, Absorption, Execution as well as Benefits and Impact.
The Accenture Innovation Index measures, recognises and rewards innovation and systems of innovation in organisations of all sizes in the South African public and private sectors every year.
The index provides a national benchmark for innovation, providing businesses and policymakers with an authoritative and objective snapshot
of the state of innovation within their organisations and in South Africa.
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