Most tech innovations of corporates fail before they even launch

23 November 2020 3 min. read
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New analysis reveals that a staggering 95% of tech innovations tend to fail at various stages before they even launch, primarily due to a lack of proper planning.

The finding comes from a report by Kaspersky, which was based on surveys and interviews with more than 300 business leaders around the world. Having assessed how leaders are coping with the tech innovation paradigm sweeping through business, the result is clear: Organisations know where the opportunities lie, but fail to execute their innovation strategies.

For instance, many are putting Industry 4.0 technologies front and centre of their innovation efforts. Nearly 40% expect that artificial intelligence (AI) has the most scope for innovation for the next three years, given its wide range of applications across sectors. An even bigger group expects AI to have the biggest returns on investment (ROI) over the next half a decade. Internet of Things (IoT) occupies a similarly central position, with its vast potential for home life and industry.

Technologies expected to deliver the highest innovation and ROI

Other areas that have scope and ROI potential – albeit to a lesser extent – include robotization, automation, virtual reality and augmented reality, healthcare tech, blockchain, facial recognition and enhancement tech, among several others. No doubt, each of these segments holds game-changing solutions for work and home life – a fact that businesses have recognised.

The problem lies in the innovation process itself, which falls short 95% of the time before even launching. According to Kaspersky’s survey, most innovations – more than a third – crash in the development phase. A quarter fail before this in the design phase, while the same amount fail after development during testing. Nearly 15% fizzle out right at the start of the innovation process, during initial scoping.

Asked about the reasons for this failure, nearly 80% of business leaders pin it on a lack of adequate planning. “Those we spoke to agree that by having a disciplined long-term plan, a structure and a road map in place, any company can create a framework in which innovations are more likely to succeed,” reads the report.

Stages where innovation is most likely to fail

The researchers note that the majority of business leaders who miss a proper planning framework belong to organisations without a dedicated innovation officer.

Beyond planning lapses, businesses also appear to lose sight of their goal when innovating – adding value for the customer. While experimenting with the latest in tech, the most successful businesses keep their customer needs in mind when innovating. Others report failure in most cases where they oversee these considerations.

Last on the list of factors is that innovators often find themselves at loggerheads with cybersecurity managers within a business – an issue noted by nearly 75% of all business leaders. Using new tech is likely to stretch the existing IT infrastructure, opening up a host of new vulnerabilities and making life difficult for those in charge of security.

The solution, according to Kaspersky, is to involve cyber security experts in the innovation process from an early stage. “Otherwise departments may be left in a situation where the IT security team appears to be working against them, rather than supporting their innovation,” states the report.

As innovation becomes key to survival and competitiveness, these are some issues for businesses to address to fine tune their innovation processes.