ServiceNow Workflow Quarterly: The Innovation Issue


In a fluid, fast-changing world, how can business leaders drive an innovation agenda that yields real business results? ServiceNow set out to answer this question in the Innovation Issue of Workforce Quarterly, which focuses on how companies worldwide are organizing for innovation.

Working with ServiceNow, ThoughtLab conducted in-depth research exploring how large enterprises are using technology to drive innovation. A survey included responses from CIOs, CEOs, COOs, and other executives at more than 350 organizations in 12 countries and across five major industries. Key findings from the survey include:

  • Few companies have made significant progress toward their innovation goals. Less than 20% of executives surveyed say their company is in the advanced stage of becoming more customer centric (19%), building an innovation culture (17%), improving the employee experience (12%), or reinventing processes (4%).
  • Judging from peer reviews, most CIOs aren’t getting the job done. Only 31% of surveyed executives, for example, say their company’s CIO is highly or extremely effective at driving innovation.

To change those perceptions, CIOs need to make sure their organizations are prepared to work in more innovative ways.

The study found executives at “innovation leader”—organizations that represent the top 15% of companies—say their return on technology investments to spur innovation is over six times higher than the 26% of innovation beginners, companies who are just starting to invest in innovation.

The differences don’t stop there. Innovation leaders are more likely to benefit from artificial intelligence. They have an easier time controlling technology costs. Finally, their senior leaders are far more likely to rate the CIO as highly or extremely effective when it comes to driving innovation.