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Finnish CIOs comment: Management are signing the praises of digital innovation, but the road to realization in business is rocky

Enfo surveyed the views of CIOs on the driving forces and impediments to digital innovation. There is support among managers for digital innovation, but a lack of systematic innovation management practices.

At the end of April, Enfo organized a workshop for CIOs on the theme, “Lead the development of digital innovations through effective models”. Executive Vice President Samuli Savo of Enfo led the introduction of the Innovation Framework tool, which enables the assessment of an organization’s readiness to refine digital concepts into profitable business.

According to Finnish CIOs, the worst bottleneck lies in the systematic collection of ideas, processing and refining them, and turning them into rational business decisions.

The Enfo Innovation Framework model fills the typical gap between small and agile digital partners working directly with businesses, and large IT partners working with CIOs.

The workshop was attended by 40 CIOs from Finland's leading IT companies and the results provide a good picture of the current state of digital innovation within Finnish companies.

Seamless co-operation between business leaders and information management lies at the heart of success

Management buy-in has previously been cited as a problem when trying to drive digital innovations forward in an organization. It has taken a few years of beating the drum on the issue to get senior executives behind digital projects; over 60% of the respondents cite management buy-in as one of their organizations’ strengths.

On the other hand, around 60% of the respondents indicate that the Facilitated Innovation Process is the most challenging step. When the Facilitated Innovation Process and Decision Model are viewed as a whole, almost 90% of Finnish CIO’s state that this combination is the major headache in the companies they represent.

“It’s great to see interest and support among executives for driving digitalization forward! We can now set this traditional excuse for lack of progress aside and focus on taking concrete steps forward,” says Samuli Savo.

These days, companies need to be able to accelerate the conversion of digital innovations into continuous business activities and ensure high-quality and evolving services for end-users.

"Many companies cannot achieve this themselves, but need outside help. I hope that the tool we have created is useful for as many companies as possible in this regard," Savo continues.

"It is essential for companies to identify their own strengths and bottlenecks within the innovation process. Will managerial decision-making bring digital innovation to a halt? Or their partners’ management models? How can information management and business functions be brought together to conceptualize, create and maintain new services together? Once identified, challenges should also be resolved - this job cannot be left half done,” Savo states.

Survey was performed in connection with the workshop among 40 CIOs of large Finnish companies in April 2017.

Download the entire report from materials