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The skills may be in place for digital innovation – but what about the organization?


​Many companies have the necessary skills in place for innovative projects thanks to strong in-house profiles. The next step: Now the organizational set-up needs to be fine-tuned to create the right breeding ground for innovation. This is just one of the conclusions from the NNIT Expectation Barometer. 

Digital innovation is a reality that all organizations really need to relate to. This is why it is extremely positive to see that many companies believe that they already have the right skills in place to complete this task.

The right skills are already in place
With the Expectation Barometer, NNIT continually gauges the level of innovation in Danish and international companies. And according to the first results, Skills is the category where respondents across a range of industries and positions have scored their business highly. With an average score of 7.3 out of 10, it is clear that the skillset of many companies is close to ranking them as Navigators in NNIT's three innovation levels – Base Camp, Explorer and Navigator.

It is these strong in-house skills, deeply rooted in the company’s IT department, that drive efforts forward. However, the Expectation Barometer also reveals that many companies could create more value than they already do if they added external partners to their own company ecosystem.

– Whether you are going to invest in internal skills or make use of external consultants depends on your organization and mindset. It's perfectly legitimate to ally with for example innovative start-ups if you do not have the skills yourself. However, you also need to ensure that both your strategy and organization are focused on digital innovation, and support your chosen competency model, explains Brian Troelsen, Business Development Director of NNIT.

Where is the organization?
Thus, there is a lot of evidence to indicate that companies have good digital skills and are ready on the starting block to launch a strategy that focuses on digital innovation. However, the Expectation Barometer also shows a tendency for innovation projects to lag behind at the overall organizational level. A score of 3.7 out of 10 means that many companies are still at Base Camp level in organizational readiness.

– Having the organization on board requires more than just the green light from top management. Once top management has accepted that digital innovation should have a strategic focus, it is crucial that it also utilizes its managerial authority to adapt the organization to accommodate the necessary level of agility, emphasizes Brian Troelsen.

Prioritize innovative set-ups
However, the NNIT innovation barometer January results indicate that many organizations have not prioritized such a set up. Brian Troelsen points out that there are other options for adjusting their organization.

–  Instead of fitting innovation into the company's existing and sometimes bureaucratic processes, it will often be an obvious choice to prioritize unique set-ups that support the necessary “play”. This, for example, might be creating an innovation unit or a lab, building venture models or relying on crowd-sourced collaborations. These models all have one thing in common: they act as a kind of creative sandbox, where it is normal to experiment your way forward and open up for a new way of working. The idea is to create an agile environment that, for example, starts with a Scrum, pretotyping or similar, explains Brian Troelsen.

Other things that we have noticed 
Employees working in Business Intelligence and IT respectively are in broad agreement across all Expectation Barometer categories. This seems to indicate that in many cases, the people involved in innovation projects see eye-to-eye with each other on their companies' challenges and strengths. 

Have you checked your company’s innovation pulse?
The Expectation Barometer takes the pulse of digital innovation in Danish and international companies. What differences are there – and where? And what does it require, strategically, technologically and organizationally, to drive digital innovation to even greater heights?

Try out the Expectation Barometer and find out how your company is doing in the area of digital innovation – and get a personal Benchmark Map. You also get access to a series of articles about the journey of innovation pioneers toward digital transformation success.





Brian Troelsen+45 3079 5933btrl@nnit.comBusiness Development Director Troelsen



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