Businesses agree that innovation is the future, but issues like budget, staff resistance and cybersecurity are stifling technological development.
Cybersecurity concerns have been named one of the key barriers to innovation for Australian organizations, according to a new report.
In its Workplace Innovation Index 2020 report, Australian technology company Ricoh states that the majority of business leaders in the country agree that innovative solutions need to be used to improve products and internal services; however, issues like budget, staff resistance and cybersecurity are currently stifling technological advancements.
A lack of digital skills and business agility are also points of concern for Australia’s place in the global tech world, the report explains. According to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the country slipped to 14th place in a global ranking of digital competitiveness.
The report states that over a quarter of respondents feel they aren’t well staffed for innovation as the wider sector moves to adopt a digital environment.
According to Ricoh, while efforts have been made to integrate state-of-the-art tech into company processes, Australian firms still lag when it comes to staying abreast of the move to digital platforms.
“Australia has always been a nation of innovators, but the challenge we face today is a lack of focus on taking our good ideas and developing businesses around them,” said Andy Berry, CEO of Ricoh Australia. “We need a culture shift.”
About a third of Australian companies still lack a digital environment, the report notes.
But while some companies are troubled with their digital futures, Ricoh said that innovation investments have been on the rise in certain areas as businesses continue to focus on improving operational output.
Some of those areas include improving operational effectiveness, reducing costs and operational expenditures, upgrading processes, delivering heightened customer experiences and digitizing workflow processes.
A few of the key technologies for innovation are also highlighted in the report, with analytics, workflow tools, collaboration and security reigning as some of the most critical arenas for technological growth.
On the other hand, Australian companies’ adoption of technologies like blockchain remains slow.
Moving into 2020, Ricoh said that a strong focus will be aimed at process improvement and cost reduction, though business heads need to prioritize innovation to push digital advancements.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.