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How can businesses enhance their competitive position without excessive expenditure or taking on excessive risk?

PA Consulting Group (PA)’s survey of business leaders shows that many recognise the need to innovate in order to enhance their competitive position. However, in the face of economic turbulence, many are reluctant to take on the cost and risk that often accompanies innovation.

PA believes that the information generated by new technologies, such as smartphones and smart meters, can deliver a low-risk, low-cost route to innovation and subsequent competitive advantage.

Organisations that understand how to capture and analyse information from smart technologies become more intelligent, with a greater capacity to make timely decisions with more confidence. Information derived from smart technologies can show organisations where and how to innovate. It can help them identify new markets, increase efficiency and cut costs. Crucially, it can help them stay one step ahead of the competition.

The components of the smart organisation already exist; it is linking them together that delivers most value. The reason why information offers a low-cost, low-risk route to innovation is that the resource already exists. Organisations simply need to use it more effectively –to link data, systems and people – in order to reveal new insight and release value.

PA’s interviews with business leaders show that most believe their organisations are already using the information they have to inform decision-making. However, our wider survey shows that only one third of organisations are exploiting their information resource at all.

Many are neglecting a significant opportunity to become more intelligent – to gain a clearer picture of their performance, to understand what their customers want, to identify ways to work more efficiently – and achieve the competitive advantage they seek.

The value inherent in information generated by smart technologies represents one of the significant business opportunities of our day. To take advantage of this opportunity, bold leaders must inspire their organisations to think afresh about the way they do business.

This report gives you 11 pointers to drive smart innovation in your organisation.

For more information about this survey, please visit

Feb 8, 2021
Oct 26, 2011
White Paper

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