LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Some 42% of UK organizations believe that a failure to innovate and keep up with evolving customer needs will have the biggest negative impact on their company in the next five years; a figure higher than in the US, France and Germany. This is according to a new global study, “Innovate or Perish”, sponsored by Automic and conducted by Vanson Bourne.
The study surveyed a sample of 400 BDMs and 4,000 consumers in the U.K., the U.S., France and Germany (100 BDMs and 1,000 consumers in the U.K.). It spanned four verticals: energy and utilities, financial services, retail, and telecommunications.
The vast majority of UK business decision makers also believe their organization will suffer if their company fails to adapt in tandem with technical change within the next year. Some 86% anticipate a decline in the number of customers if they fail to evolve, 84% forecast a reduction in revenue and 73% expect international operations to decline. Just 8% of the BDMs surveyed feel that their organization is on the cutting edge of technology and only 9% feel their organization has kept up completely with changing customer demands.
“This survey highlights the growing importance of utilzing technology—especially business automation— as a key instrument in delivering enterprise innovation and change,” says Chris Boorman, CMO Automic. “Those companies that don’t embrace new technologies risk permanently damaging customer relationships and revenue streams as they fail to meet market needs.”
A recent Gartner study predicted that customer experience and expectations would now be the new competitive battlefield, forcing organizations to become more innovative and creative. Gartner argues, “With an overabundance of alternatives and ubiquitous access to pricing and product information, consumers have little reason to remain loyal to a particular brand. To narrow the capabilities gap in customer experience, organizations must implement new tools, new people and changes in culture.”1
We believe Gartner’s predictions align with the findings from the Innovate or Perish study. According to the Automic’s survey, innovation is as important to UK consumers as it is to BDMs: 84% of consumers say it is important that the organizations they buy from are innovative in the goods/services they offer, while 79% think it is important that the organizations are innovative in the way they interact with the customer. Lastly, 93% of UK respondents state that their use of an organization would decline if they failed to meet their needs as a customer.
Boorman concludes, “As Gartner has stated, ‘Growing your business will depend on your ability to deliver convenience and delight consumers in today’s connected economy. The rules of competition have changed; the battlefield has shifted.’2 As such, we believe the only response to increasingly technological complexity and the multitude of customer demands is automation. The strategic application of a business automation program will enable organizations to dynamically and proactively engage with customers – ultimately increasing competitive advantage and bottom line.”
Other key findings from the research include the following:
- Regulatory challenges are crippling UK innovation – While 42% of UK BDMs state that failure to innovate to keep up with evolving customer needs will have the biggest negative impact on their company in the next five years, 41% believe that regulatory challenges will have a major impact. This is followed by increasing competition (35%) and technological change (34%).
- UK lags behind on technological change – Only 8% of BDMs in the UK claim that their organization is on the cutting edge of technology, as opposed to 19% in France, 14% in Germany and 21% in the US. In addition, 15% of UK BDMs say their organization has not kept up well with technological change, compared to 3% in France, 5% in Germany and 2% in the US.
- Lack of IT investment will undermine business – UK respondents also believe their organizations’ will struggle over the next year if they fail to embrace technological advancements in certain areas. 48% think there will be a significant decline in the number of customers, while 41% fear a significant decline in revenue.
- Customer needs also not met as well in the UK – Only 9% of BDMs in the UK claim that their customer service is second to none, as opposed to 18% in France, 16% in Germany and 22% in the US. In addition, 14% of UK BDMs say their organization has not kept up well with customer needs compared to 3% in France, 4% in Germany and 2% in the US.
- UK organizations failing to innovate in key areas of the business – 76% of UK consumers believe that the organizations they regularly engage with online are failing in some areas. Price of goods/services (31%), customer service (24%) and the quality of goods/services (21%) are the main areas where organizations are failing, according to respondents.
The research was commissioned by Automic and conducted by Vanson Bourne among 4,400 individuals in four countries: France, Germany, the UK and the US. This included 4,000 (1,000 in each country) consumers across a broad demographic profile, and 400 senior business and IT leaders (100 in each country) in the energy and utilities, financial services, retail and telecommunications industry sectors.
Automic, a leader in business automation, helps enterprises drive competitive advantage by automating their IT factory - from on-premise to the Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things. With offices across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Automic powers over 2,600 customers including Bosch, PSA, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Deutsche Post, Societe Generale, TUI and Swisscom. The company is privately held by EQT. More information can be found at www.automic.com.
Copyright © 2014 Automic Software GmbH (Automic), all rights reserved. Automic is a trademark and/or service mark of Automic Software GmbH (Automic). Other company, product, and service names mentioned in any Automic document may be trademarks or service marks of others.
1 Gartner, Gartner Predicts a Customer Experience Battlefield, December 18, 2014, http://gartnernews.com/gartner-predicts-a-customer-experience-battlefield
2 Gartner, Gartner Predicts a Customer Experience Battlefield, December 18, 2014, http://gartnernews.com/gartner-predicts-a-customer-experience-battlefield