Posted: 30 Nov. 2016 5 min. read

Innovation and why it's crucial to the entrepreneurial health of the Welsh economy

Wayne Harvey, senior partner for Deloitte in Wales, in advance of the CBI Wales annual dinner on 1 December 2016, looks at innovation and its importance to the future of Welsh industry.


Deloitte is proud to promote Wales as a great place to do business and is a long-standing supporter of Welsh industry, sponsoring once again CBI Wales’s annual dinner. Personally speaking, I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow evening’s event in Cardiff as it gives me the opportunity to hear first-hand from Wales’s premier business leaders about their successes in 2016, new challenges and how they see the Welsh economy developing in 2017.

The business environment is evolving

Wales has always embraced new avenues for growth, through its enterprise zones, hubs, and collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors. But now the pace of change in our business environment is accelerating and it is no longer the strongest that survive and thrive but rather businesses that adapt.

Technological advances and evolving customer behaviour means businesses across all sectors must be prepared to change.

Business leaders in Wales are now recognising that to stay ahead, they need to seek exponential innovation – the power to shape disruption for strategic advantage.

Innovation now needs to be central to companies’ business models and this is crucial to the entrepreneurial health of the Welsh economy.

What is disruptive innovation?

Disruptive innovation brings new ideas, drives competition and generates investment from around the world. And it will become a competitive advantage for Welsh industry.

At Deloitte we’ve taken an innovative approach and are adopting innovation with purpose to solve our clients’ challenges, develop our people's skills and ultimately provide impact that matters. We’re exploring emerging disruptors such as blockchain, automationcrowdsourcing and FinTech - unlocking ways in which to harness these, identifying how they might work best for our clients, delivering solutions for strategic advantage as well as sharing our experiences and perspectives with the wider market.

A culture of innovation

By helping organisations take advantage of new technology, we’re improving their business processes, finding new customers and re-designing the customer experience. At the same time we’re helping them embed a culture of innovation within their organisation and identify and harness disruptive trends to benefit their own customers.

Innovation will play an ever-increasing role in our economy and society and Wales is well placed to capitalise. With a highly educated workforce, top universities and research teams, entrepreneurial leadership in its high-skill, high-tech industries and a relatively flexible labour environment, businesses, policymakers and educators have a key role in fostering an innovative culture which will benefit the principality in the coming decades.

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