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Why customers and employees are businesses’ most important innovation partners

November 2, 2017

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Human experience and end-user insights are the most valuable tools for business innovation, according to a global study conducted by PwC. In its Innovation Benchmark Report, which surveyed more than 1,200 companies in 44 countries, around two-thirds of respondents ranked employees above technology partners as their most important partners in innovation.

Sixty-five per cent of the executives said that establishing innovative behaviours and culture are the most critical success factors for innovation, with larger companies embracing open innovation and design thinking internally to deliver new ideas, solutions and products.

More than one-third of companies also considered customers their most valuable innovation partners. According to the findings, engaging customers from the early ideation phase to product/service launch has brought significant benefits, such as accessing fresh ideas, improving strategic alignments and failing faster in the iterative process to find the right solution.

The report also found that roughly half of those surveyed thought their innovation efforts have had a “great” impact on driving revenue growth, yet many are struggling with clearly aligning their innovation and business strategies. An “innovation sandbox” that engages customers, brings in employees and develops an innovation culture can help companies meet this challenge, concludes the study.

Read the full report here.

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