Innovation in Australian business is being driven by these factors

Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Lab in Sydney

This article has been prepared by Business Insider in partnership with The Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The question of what drives companies to innovate might on the face of it sound like an easy one to answer. But the recent release of the latest Commonwealth Bank FY19 National Business Insights Report shows that the forces driving change in the Australian business landscape are many and varied.

It’s clearly a case of businesses, and managers, weighing up the opportunities and threats that face them and allocating resources to confront this changed and changing environment.

The Commonwealth Bank asked more than 2700 businesses and 2400 employees what the key factors driving change in their business were, and their responses showed that:

“[T]he factors vary for each business, but with the customer being at the heart of every business, it is customer-related considerations that stand out. Meeting the evolving expectations of customers and enhancing their experience is driving change in Australian businesses like no other factor,” the report said.

Source: Commonwealth Bank National Business Insights Report FY19

Clearly there is some overlap among these factors. The top four all are related to gaining and holding a point of difference, or sales and marketing advantage, over other direct competitors in the industry.

The fifth of the top five factors reflects the reality that if an industry, or business in general these days, is to be more competitive, then it must seek to reduce costs, increase sales and raise retention and engagement for both customers and staff.

“Marketing innovation and process improvements can enable the collection, storage and use of data, which in turn will help refine brand proposition and product offering to better meet the needs of the customer,” the report said.

More broadly, when viewed by industry across Australia, the two most common areas of innovation are organisational innovation (professional services, accommodation and food, as well as healthcare and social assistance) and marketing innovation (wholesale and retail trade as well as the not-for-profit sector).

Innovation is company- and industry-specific. Businesses will need to access all areas within their organisation to seek innovation and improvements and achieve better outcomes.

What this survey shows is that, right now for most businesses, it is the customer who holds primacy.

You can read the results of the full innovation survey here.

This article has been prepared by Business Insider solely for information purposes based on the results of an online survey conducted, between September and October 2018, and analysed by ACA Research on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank and is not to be construed as a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The information may be incomplete or not up to date and may contain errors and omissions. Any projections and forecasts are based on a number of assumptions and estimates, including future events and contingencies, which may be inaccurate. It must not be relied upon as financial product advice and is not Investment Research. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and if necessary, seek the appropriate professional, including taxation advice. We believe that this information is correct and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held based on the information available at the time of its compilation but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.

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