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Harnessing the power of open innovation through digital collaboration

A $12 billion opportunity for South Africa

Overview

Over the last decade, the digital economy has been driven and dominated by technology startups. The next decade will see the awakening of an entrepreneurial spirit among incumbent industry leaders as they strive to regain competitive advantage, disrupt their own markets or invent new ones. They will need to change the way they innovate, shifting past traditional small-scale and self-serving collaboration with innovators to harness the power of digital collaboration across a broader ecosystem.

Accenture’s Digital Collaboration Index shows that digital collaboration can deliver an uplift of $1.5 trillion to global economic outputs. In South Africa, it could help raise GDP by almost $12 billion, elevating current GDP by 3.1 percent. Open innovation, which is characterised by partnerships among a range of players in a global ecosystem, lays the groundwork for increased digital collaboration. However, a survey of G20 countries shows that South Africa has just begun to take the first steps on the road to open innovation and collaboration.

Analysis

In South Africa, establishing a true culture of innovation and entrepreneurship will assist the country to find new ways to address many of its economic and social challenges. The journey will not be easy but the benefits are significant.

Digital is expected to play a significant role in future revenue generation say South African enterprises and entrepreneurs, and collaboration is expected to be a critical tool to increase revenues generated through digital technology. Yet South African companies are only in early stages of innovation and collaboration.

Accenture’s research points to three primary challenges faced by large companies and entrepreneurs as they attempt to increase their collaborative work:

  • An imbalance in perceived commitment to the collaborative endeavour

  • A cultural divide between entrepreneurs and large companies

  • A lack of government support to effectively support collaboration between large and small companies

Open innovation can help bridge these gaps. Read the full report [PDF], which spells out the challenges and opportunities for large companies, entrepreneurs, government and bridgemakers.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESEARCH REPORT  [PDF]

Key Findings

Key Findings

DESTINATION: ECOSYSTEM INNOVATION

Open innovation in the G20 is a journey of four phases that extends from corporate venturing to the development of incubators and accelerators, and to joint innovation and co-creation, culminating in ecosystem innovation. The phases in which companies participate depend on corporate needs and the market forces in their sector. A handful of early-mover companies simultaneously adopt a mix of all four. South Africa is taking its first steps on this journey.



Corporate ventures

Corporate ventures

Equity investment made by a large corporation into high growth and high potential, privately-held business.
Corporate venturing in South Africa is still nascent, led by a handful of local and multinational companies.

Incubators/accelerators

Incubators/accelerators

Set up or sponsorship of programmes focused on mentorship and education
+50 incubators in South Africa and is a growing movement

Joint innovation

Joint innovation

Large company and one or more start-ups working towards the development of a common solution
Seen as the most effective model of collaboration by all organisations surveyed globally

Ecosystem innovation (ultimate destination, goal)

Ecosystem innovation (ultimate destination, goal)

Broad ecosystem of partners to jointly develop new technologies or market solutions and integrate their components
Enables enterprises to look beyond their four walls to bring in ideas more quickly and create shared value to solve big or common problems

DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESEARCH REPORT  [PDF]

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