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New Syntax Research Says Companies Are Overconfident with Innovation and Cybersecurity

According to new Syntax research, many businesses ranked themselves in the top 5% for leading-edge innovation and cybersecurity preparedness. Their reality tells a different story.

New research by Syntax points out that companies face a crisis of overconfidence that puts businesses at risk of being left behind. In a recent innovation report, Syntax asked 500 IT and Finance departments leaders about their efforts to innovate with the latest advanced technologies. Questions ranged from artificial intelligence (AI) to cybersecurity.

The answers are shocking.

While many companies ranked themselves on the leading edge (top 5% of businesses in each category), their actual capabilities and attitudes reflected a much different picture.

Perception vs. Reality

Syntax’s data provides a necessary reality check on perception vs. reality when it comes to enterprise innovation. Overconfidence doesn’t have to be negative. Instead, as we look at the high grades enterprises give themselves on innovation, it simply reveals how much-hidden opportunity exists.

As long as enterprises can honestly reassess their capabilities and IT strategies, they aren’t at risk of being left behind.

The Evolution of Innovation and the Rise of Cyberattacks

Innovation is a continuum — there is no start or end point. However, it is still essential to take snapshots to assess where peers and competitors stand when it comes to innovation. Syntax’s research found that enterprises give themselves high grades on innovation

At this critical crossroad, hubris and overconfidence are risks. As cyberattacks climb, IT leaders who overestimate their capabilities leave themselves open to attack. And even those who take threats seriously often only prepare for the worst scenarios while overlooking opportunities to defend against less sophisticated breaches and hacks. Syntax’s data shows that attacks can be devastating financially and technically. If companies underestimate preparedness, it presents a significant threat.

Innovation in the Cloud & Four Key Research Findings

There are four key findings on how companies approach innovation in the cloud. Let’s dive into them.

1. Innovation vs. Illusion

An easy way to get left behind is to think your company is in first place. Syntax asked IT and Finance leaders across industries and verticals to assess where their technology and business analytics capabilities fall on a spectrum.

The results showed that leaders are overconfident in their abilities, underestimate how much potential technology has to accelerate their business growth, and are unaware of what “leading edge” really looks like. Too many businesses rate themselves among the very best, yet they are getting left behind. Some highlights:

  • 49% of respondents said they would be unable to mitigate a data breach or ransomware attack successfully
  • 45% said they don’t have the talent to migrate to a public cloud
  • Most enterprises we surveyed reported less than 50% of their processes are currently automated
2. Strategy Checkup

Research from this report highlights that companies have more opportunities to innovate beyond what’s already happening. So, what does that mean for short and long-term strategies? Some highlights:

  • 94% of leaders say cloud spending was up due to the global pandemic, and only 1% said they had no budget for cloud over the next year.
  • In 2022, cloud migration and improving cybersecurity are the top areas enterprises say they will “significantly” invest in.
  • In 2022, 44% of companies say they will significantly invest in building business intelligence capabilities.
3. The Security Crisis

A cyberattack can bring down any company. The unprecedented rise of ransomware attacks and the unpredictable tactics of cybercriminals make it challenging for companies to operate securely. Every company can get hacked. Some highlights:

  • Only 8% of companies with 500-999 employees were spared from a cyberattack over the last 12 months compared to 25% of businesses with more than 10,000 employees.
  • 60% of respondents said they were highly prepared to handle a phishing attack.
  • 43% of respondents said they are only somewhat confident in staying safe from cyberattacks.
4. Time to Reassess Strategy

Companies have a lot of opportunities to improve and outpace the competition when it comes to business analytics. Every strategy deserves a second look. Based on Syntax’s research, three vital areas can be strengthened.

1. Automation

The adoption of advanced analytics and automation is still low. Only 43% of businesses say they’re invested in robotic process automation (RPA), and only 57% have invested in AI-powered automation tools.

2. Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partnership

Respondents saw some of the lowest return on investment (ROI) from their investments with an MSP in the last 12 months. It’s critical to examine existing outsourced IT relationships and determine the value and expectations of the services.

3. Alignment

Syntax research surveyed finance and IT professionals and found that they are misaligned in viewing critical technology capabilities. Finance respondents report lower ROI on specific projects, such as artificial intelligence and cloud spending than IT respondents.

Next Steps to Innovation

An assessment of your capabilities can help you accelerate innovation in the future. Today is an excellent time for your company to seize the moment and get ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation. To learn more about Syntax’s research and find out how your company compares to other company’s innovation efforts, download the Innovation Reality Check Report now.