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2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

You there, with the keyboard, you're the reason China and US are spanking the UK

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China and the US are investing more in technology in a bid to drive innovation than the UK, more than half of respondents to a new survey have said.

According to management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture which conducted the poll - and published the results this week - 56 per cent of business leaders in Blighty believe the UK "lags behind" China and the US in technology innovation.

Accenture conducted an online interview with 273 business decision makers from industries such as banking, retail, IT and telecoms and energy.

Although more than two thirds (68 per cent) of business leaders said their companies had "made a significant investment in innovation" over the past year and plan to continue doing so in the next 12 months, more said that they think it is "more important to be innovative for their employees (65 per cent) than for their customers (51 per cent)".

Most respondents (53 per cent) said the UK needs to invest more in research and development, whilst just under half of those surveyed (49 per cent) said that companies involved in innovative research should benefit from greater tax breaks. In addition, 42 per cent and 41 per cent of respondents respectively said that greater funding for universities for technology research purposes and attracting more people into studying subjects rooted in science, technology, engineering or maths would "help drive UK innovation".

Only 4 per cent of respondents said everyone within a business has a role to play in innovating, whilst 39 per cent place the responsibility for driving technological innovation with a company's IT team. However, most of those surveyed (57 per cent) said they do not believe that their business is leading the way in using new technologies. This is despite most respondents describing innovation as being "extremely important" to driving business success in IT (78 per cent), financial management (58 per cent) and operations (57 per cent).

According to the study, conducted in April, half of business leaders see investment in IT infrastructure and investment in training people in the use of technology as being "key success factors" for enabling technological innovation in business. A further 47 per cent identified having a collaborate culture as being important to such innovation, whilst 41 per cent said having incentives can help drive innovation.

Copyright © 2013, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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