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Delays in Financial Innovation Due to Pandemic; Ayming Barometer Finds

As the pandemic prevented 31% of businesses from innovating, businesses must take care to keep up with the changing pace of the market; warns new research from Ayming Group.

585 senior executives recently participated in a survey conducted by Ayming Group, with the data from which being collated for their third annual International Innovation Barometer (IIB) 2022. Whilst exposing a level of confidence in their findings with regards to Research and Development (R&D), the report also dives into the relationship between innovation and Covid-19, what obstacles are preventing innovation from happening, and what kind of access companies currently have to both talent and funding.

When looking at how businesses adapted to Covid-19 measures, 36% reported that they had successfully executed adjustments to their operations by harnessing innovation. Despite some developments that still need to be made, 82% agreed that the pandemic had acceleration innovation; not just within the financial industry, but across a variety of markets worldwide. A quarter of respondents added that this change had been sudden, which has caused the report to speculate on the level of disruption that industries can expect to face in the future.

Whilst at least some level of disruption is to be expected, complacency is still to be avoided. Not only are markets finding themselves in a heightened state of vulnerability whilst turmoil looms over their heads, but R&D departments are also encountering an increasing number of challenges.

Budgets, for example, are much more uncertain and there are growing concerns about a talent shortage, both of which are contributing to a failure of almost a third of firms to innovate during the pandemic. Those who are not innovating are at a disadvantage and could be left behind.

Promisingly however, 1 in 4 respondents say that they have fully adjusted to exploit the new opportunities that have arisen from the aftermath of the pandemic. In addition, 69% believe they are innovating enough to keep up with the changes in their market.

Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives, Ayming UK
Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives, Ayming UK

Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives at Ayming UK, says: “The gap is widening between those who have prioritised innovation and those who haven’t. We know Covid-19 has completely shaken up whole industries and economies. It has simultaneously created the perfect environment for disruption while creating challenges for R&D teams and businesses. This research reveals an unbalanced reaction .

“Unfortunately, it has made it very difficult to know how much R&D will be enough. The secretive nature of R&D means businesses don’t know what disruptive forces are emerging in their sector. However, a crisis like Covid-19 will always lead to the emergence of new, forward-thinking propositions. We can already see new start-ups and services emerging, and there is likely plenty more to come.”

The pandemic has, however, provided some positive learnings for firms to take forward and it has caused companies to think differently. Reflecting on the pandemic, 82% of businesses agree that the pandemic has demonstrated that a business must be able to identify and react to opportunities, and 76% agree that the pandemic has proved how important it is to innovate during a crisis.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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