Research Agilitas has revealed that innovation projects costed channel leaders an average of £66,587.74 last year and this figure is expected to increase by 50% in the next three years. Conducted by independent research firm OnePoll, the data revealed in a report released today marks the fourth part of Agilitas’ ongoing investigation into how the industry will evolve by 2020.
Examining the theme of innovation, the research has looked to understand the role it is set to play in the future development of the industry. The research first examined where investment is required, with technology innovation coming out on top (49%) and solutions (43%), business analytics (30%), and contracts (31%) also ranking highly.
“Our research highlights demand amongst the channel for investment in innovation.” argues Shaun Lynn, Agilitas CEO. “As we continue to face disruption, complacency and doing the same thing is no longer an option. What has been clear over recent years is that there is demand for us to continue to adapt our offerings as the needs of the technology industry and business community evolves.”
“As a result, creating and fostering a positive environment, where new ideas are trialled and embraced is set to be critical as we approach 2020, particularly if the current levels of uncertainty continue to be seen across the market.”
The research also aimed to establish precisely what channel leaders are doing to foster and encourage innovation within their organisations. Interestingly, just 13% don’t encourage innovation within their companies. However, a significant 39% aim to hire creative staff, and the same number follow Google’s example and dedicate time for employees to work on their own projects. Furthermore, 27% will pledge to explore every employee idea, and 35% invest in training to encourage innovation.
Analysts have continually touted workplace design as key to innovation. A workplace survey conducted by Gensler in 2016 revealed that by providing leaders with choice and autonomy of where to work in a hot-desking environment works to increase both productivity and innovation. However, just 12% of channel leaders claim to employ intelligent design in their workplaces.
“It is critical to understand that the only thing in the channel that remains constant is change,” concludes Lynn. “As an industry, we need to make sure that challenges are met with creative new ideas. Our research has highlighted positive movement, and I expect to see continued investment growth as we approach 2020.”
The research commissioned by Agilitas and carried out by OnePoll surveyed 100 senior level executives at leading IT resellers, managed service providers and independent IT channel firms, and marks the fourth in the series of quarterly investigations into the future of the channel.