Fujitsu says NZ not innovative enough

The IT, business services and financial services sectors are the most innovative, says survey

A study measuring innovation among Australian and New Zealand organisations shows both countries in a relatively poor light, averaging just 64% on performance.

The Fujitsu Innovation Index was compiled from a range of 20 metrics. Market research company ACA Research conducted the survey of 178 organisations.

Fujitsu Australia-New Zealand chief executive Rod Vawdrey says the company has identified a pressing need for a more comprehensive and determined debate about innovation performance in the region.

“There is no consistent determination among Australian and New Zealand organisations to really take up the innovation challenge,” he says. “We hope to offer some insight into the current innovation landscape and to get people debating why innovation is important.

“The index represents a major step forward in promoting a crucial business debate.”

In New Zealand, organisations with a minimum 200 employees were targeted for the survey. In Australia, the minimum was 500 employees. Half the interviewees were C level and the other half were executives responsible for innovation.

The most significant finding from the survey was that those companies that measured innovation believed it contributed 33% of any increase in customer satisfaction, and 30% of any increase in profitability.

“Australia and New Zealand appear to have quite a different attitude to innovation compared to the rest of the world, judging by results from other global studies,” the survey says. “Collaboration does not seem to be such a big driver of innovation performance, whereas other global innovation surveys rank it highly.”

Instead, Australian and New Zealand organisations highlighted a lack of resources and strategy as the major barriers to innovation success.

The worst performing organisations in the survey tended to be the larger ones, with more than 1,000 employees.

The fastest-growing companies were significantly more innovative than slower growing organisations.

The IT, business services and financial services sectors were the most innovative. The least innovative were in the production, retail and distribution, government, health and education sectors. However, there was a spread of only eight basis-points between the most and least innovative sectors.

Leadership and an organisation’s culture were highlighted as key to innovation.