Innovate during the pandemic - Fidelity Group Ltd


News has dropped into the Fidelity Newsletter inbox stating that innovation has been put on the back burner during the pandemic. According to research by business performance consultancy Ayming Group, Covid-19 has prevented 31per cent of businesses from innovating, which stresses how important it is for businesses to keep up with market changes.

We couldn’t agree more!

The third annual International Innovation Barometer (IIB) – based on a survey of 585 senior executives – reveals an air of confidence regarding Research & Development (R&D). Most businesses are proud of how they have reacted to the pandemic, with 36 per cent saying they have successfully innovated to make minor adjustments to their business, whereas one in four say they have fully adapted to seize Covid-19 related opportunities.

However, businesses must be wary of disruption. It’s clear that the pandemic has accelerated innovation in most markets, as agreed by 82 per cent of businesses, with a quarter of all firms saying that this acceleration has been drastic. Despite this, 69 per cent believe they are innovating enough to keep up with the changes in their market. The confidence may be misplaced.

This raises the danger of complacency. Not only are markets more open to disruption, but R&D departments face a growing number of challenges. Budgets, for example, are much more uncertain and there are growing concerns about a talent shortage, both of which are contributing to a failure of almost a third of firms to innovate during the pandemic. Those who are not innovating are at a disadvantage and could be left behind.

Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives at Ayming UK, says:“The gap is widening between those who have prioritised innovation and those who haven’t. We know Covid-19 has completely shaken up whole industries and economies. It has simultaneously created the perfect environment for disruption while creating challenges for R&D teams and businesses. This research reveals an unbalanced reaction.

“Unfortunately, it has made it very difficult to know how much R&D will be enough. The secretive nature of R&D means businesses don’t know what disruptive forces are emerging in their sector. However, a crisis like Covid-19 will always lead to the emergence of new, forward-thinking propositions. We can already see new start-ups and services emerging, and there is likely plenty more to come.”

The pandemic has, however, provided some positive learnings for firms to take forward and it has caused companies to think differently. Reflecting on the pandemic, 82 per cent of businesses agree that the pandemic has demonstrated that a business must be able to identify and react to opportunities, and 76 per cent agree that the pandemic has proved how important it is to innovate during a crisis.

Source: Ayming Group via Alex Knight, Aspectus Group +44 20 7242 8867