Global Innovation Barometer: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Global Innovation Barometer: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
February 04, 2013 at 10:02am

GE is proud to announce the launch of this year’s Global Innovation Barometer. In case you’re not familiar with the study, the Global Innovation Barometer, now in its third year, explores how business leaders around the world view innovation and how these perceptions are influencing business strategies in an increasingly complex and globalized environment.

This year, GE surveyed more than 3,000 executives in 25 countries, making the GE Global Innovation Barometer the largest global survey of business executives dedicated to innovation.

In the upcoming weeks, we will share the findings from several countries across the region. We will explore the factors businesses believe to be drivers and deterrents of innovation, and the specific strategies and policies that enable innovation and drive growth. This week, our focus is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Innovation: The Kingdom in Context
As most of our readers know, innovation is important to Saudi business leaders. The Global Innovation Barometer findings support this, with over 81% of Saudi respondents considering innovation as a strategic priority for their business. However, digging a bit deeper reveals what forms this innovation takes, and helps to decipher where the real opportunities exist for business in the Kingdom. So let’s take a look at the drivers Saudi respondents believed will be a catalyst for innovation, and ignite business further.

84% of Saudi respondents considered improving existing products or services to be an innovation driver, ranking this 5 points higher in importance than the global average. They also considered developing new products or services to be extremely important. Yet Saudi respondents also reinforced the need for localized solutions, citing the development or improvement of products and services customized to local circumstances as an innovation driver as well. The importance of developing new business processes to increase profitability and developing more affordable new products or services for customers also exceeded the global average significantly.

So, what factors will give business across the Kingdom an advantage? This question yielded interesting results. First and foremost, Saudi respondents believed understanding customers and anticipating market evolutions was crucial.

Other important factors included attracting and retaining innovative people, investing in long term innovation projects and developing new technology. Most global executives from the Kingdom readily agreed that collaboration was critical.

To learn more about how business leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia view innovation, and how these perceptions are influencing business strategies, please visit the Global Innovation Barometer 2013.

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