It’s once again time for our weekly curated list of the most interesting and newsworthy articles related to innovation at work. In this issue, we have content on cyberattack fears, uncertainty about 5G, one of Amazon’s latest projects, and a thought-provoking article about why businesses should stop using the word “innovation”.
You can find the summaries of each article below or simply click on the link to read the full article.
A new report from HackerOne indicates that cybersecurity fears are holding businesses back and preventing them from innovating. Out of those polled for the report, 80% of CISOs and CTOs stated that they’ve had to put the brakes on IT projects due to fears of “inevitable security issues”. Furthermore, 90% of respondents believe that software vulnerabilities could prove to be major setbacks for businesses. This is all driven by struggles relat ed to hiring highly-skilled staff and a lack of funding, with 63% of respondents stating that security team resources simply can’t keep up with the speed of development.
New research from Accenture suggests that although 5G presents businesses with a wealth of opportunities for revolutionary change and ideas, security still remains a notable barrier to entry. With consumers being unwilling to pay a premium on speed upgrades, telecommunication companies (telecos) are now seeking to make a profit in the enterprise world. According to Accenture’s study, 79% of respondents are confident that 5G will have a significant impact on their organization, with 35% believing it will even be revolutionary. However, the same can’t be said for the security side of things: 62% of respondents believed that 5G will make them much more vulnerable to a cybersecurity incident. If 5G is to succeed in the enterprise sector, new business models and products will need to be created. This is a challenge for both telcos and enterprise customers as it requires innovation from telcos and restructuring of business and processes from enterprise customers. An example of a telco leading the charge is Verizon, which has just announced a deal with Emory Healthcare to create a 5G innovation lab focused on the healthcare industry.
In a similar vein to the summary above, research conducted by EY has found that while many UK businesses are interested in investing in 5G, most of them lack the in-house capabilities to transform into a connected enterprise. EY’s Head of TMT, Praveen Shankar, says that for organizations to be successful, they will need to adapt existing strategies – like IoT – if they want to leverage the full capabilities of 5G. Currently, only 15% of UK businesses are investing in 5G, but this is expected to increase to 70% in the next 3 years. However, as it stands, less than 50% of UK businesses believe they can successfully implement 5G-based IoT. What it truly comes down to is whether the customer – both consumer and enterprise – is ready for this tech, and right now, the answer would appear to be no. For example, adverts on 5G focus more on speed upgrades than anything else, and the industry is still waiting for the completion of Release 16, which will formalize some of the important specifications for 5G.
Amazon has just revealed that it’s currently testing two AI-based systems to deal with incoming customer inquiries. The one system fields customer requests automatically without any human intervention and the other is designed to help customer service staff respond to queries more efficiently. The automated agents make use of machine learning, and if they are unable to deal with a certain query, they pass it on to a human customer service agent. Researchers also performed randomized trials that compared the automated agents to an existing rule-based system and discovered that the new agents are doing well to outperform the old ones. With chatbots set to drive 85% of all customer service interactions this year, Amazon is, as always, a step ahead of the game.
There’s no doubt about it: Innovation is the buzzword. Research published by the Conference Board indicates that for the CEOs, who participated in the study, “building an innovative culture” is one of their top 3 challenges. And according to PWC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, 55% of respondents said they are not able to innovate effectively. Yet while many tend to say they love innovation, the truth is, employees hate it. Proof? A team at the University of Toronto surveyed 1000 knowledge workers from America and Canda to find out their attitude towards innovation. The results revealed that the drive for innovation was as low as 14%. But the solution to changing this attitude could be as simple as using a different word for innovation. Why? Because people make decisions primarily based on their fight or flight response, and the word innovation itself tends to be a red flag for many employees. Successful companies use words or terms like “idea” (Danfoss) or “Reinvention Days” (Knauf Insulation). So moral of the story? Choose a term that’s about your employees, not your PR department!
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