By Prince Osuagwu

Research firm, Accenture, has disclosed that although businesses are increasing their innovation spend, bringing it to about $3.2 trillion in the last five years, ironically, return on investment has declined 27% over the same period.

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The firm, however, said almost one-third (29%) of those it surveyed still expect to increase their investments in innovation by more than 50% over the next five years.

The professional services firm said that according to its research, more than half (57%) of businesses making significant investments in innovation have underperformed against industry peers when it comes to growth or market value.

Managing Director, Financial Services at Accenture, Toluleke Ademosun, said the fact that return on investment overall is dropping is a worrisome . She stated that businesses are spending more than ever, but their inability to see proper returns is shocking.

Ademosun said: “One of the reasons for this could be that many organisations still see innovation as a peripheral activity separate to the core business; an “ad-hoc creative process” rather than a set of practices that will fundamentally change their way of doing business. It’s like going jogging once a month and then expecting to be able to run a marathon.

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“Over the last five years, roughly $3.2tn was spent on innovation worldwide. Yet, the study shows it is not how much you spend that matters, it is how you spend it. The companies bucking the trend and seeing the biggest returns are investing in bold, watershed moves rather than incremental shifts.”

“The companies reaping the biggest rewards show a go big or go home mentality by investing in truly disruptive innovation projects. They don’t just tinker around the edges” she added.

Toluleke also argued that some companies just chase the latest tech trends without thinking about how to connect what they’re spending to the problems or opportunities in their business.

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