Frost & Sullivan's Growth Team Membership™ (GTM) recently completed its 2012 survey of R&D/Innovation and product development executives in North and South America. The executives were asked to identify their most pressing challenges for 2012. GTM will focus its best practices research to address the prominent issues identified in the survey.
R&D/Innovation and Product Development in 2012 - A Snapshot
- Prioritizing innovation ideas and projects is the primary challenge of R&D/innovation executives
- Understaffing is the predominant root cause of R&D's challenges
- In comparison to 2011, budgets and staffing levels are expected to increase in 2012
- The majority of companies employ open innovation (OI) staff
- Open innovation is primarily used for idea generation
- Establishing buy-in is the primary challenge associated with open innovation
2012 R&D/Innovation and Product Development Survey Executive Summary
According to the 2012 survey results, R&D executives continue to wrestle with portfolio management. Specifically, R&D executives need to prioritize innovation projects, balance the value and risk of the portfolio, and allocate budgets across a wide range of project categories. Respondents also struggle with two other persistent issues: (1) identifying breakthrough ideas and (2) integrating inputs from internal stakeholders (e.g., Sales and Marketing) with portfolio planning.
The survey reveals differences in challenges between different business models. For example, the key challenges for R&D executives in B-to-B companies are generating technology roadmaps for portfolio planning and managing an open innovation process. In contrast, their peers in B-to-C companies are challenged by securing buy-in for promising innovations with senior management and streamlining the product development process to reduce costs.