Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and an expert panel led by Accenture Innovation Index partners – including The Da Vinci Institute, TransUnion and other innovation practitioners – have selected the finalists of this year’s Accenture Innovation Index.
The winners, to be selected from among 20 finalists across five categories, will be announced at the Accenture Innovation Conference on 12 October in Johannesburg.
Launched in 2014 as part of Accenture’s commitment to spearheading innovation, the Accenture Innovation Index measures, recognises and rewards innovation and systems of innovation. It provides businesses, regardless of their size or industry, with a personalised innovation diagnostic report that identifies innovation gaps and strengths. The Index process starts with businesses’ participation in an online survey and culminates in an innovation showcase and awards ceremony.
Participating businesses are scored across three measures of innovation maturity:
- Ability: The ability to innovate through the value chain, from ideation to commercialisation, is imperative.
- Commitment: For innovation to reach across the value chain, significant buy-in is required from all tiers of management, right up to senior leadership.
- Digital Capability: A company’s digital capability can be defined by the evolution of the business to use combinations of technology, information and connectivity to create new sources of customer value, company revenue and operational performance.
“Innovation is vital to compete in a disrupted world, and I’m pleased that we were able to provide respondents with the opportunity to not only benchmark their innovative capabilities, but also to refine their innovation strategies,” said Ntombi Mhangwani, a director of Integrated Marketing & Communications at Accenture.
“It has been an interesting 12-month journey to see participating businesses push boundaries and identify and fill gaps. Judges uncovered great stories of innovation and interesting trends, which we look forward to sharing with our clients and South Africans so that they can make informed decisions.”
Bennie Anderson, chief executive officer at The Da Vinci Institute, said, “There is no doubt that not only South Africa but the rest of the African continent is on the global level in terms of innovation. It was interesting to see, through the adjudication process, how companies – both small and well-established – use innovation to revolutionise the markets they serve. The process also highlighted the need for South Africa to create an environment in which individuals and organisations alike can engage and create innovative solutions that address business needs.”
With all entries grouped under one of five categories, this year’s Accenture Innovation Index finalists, along with their innovative projects, are:
Overall Innovation Masters (turnover in excess of R35 million)
- ABSA – whose integration of its App with the Apple Watch, enables customers to stay on top of their finances via their Apple Watch.
- FNB – whose internal IT coding marathon brings programmers together over a six-day sprint in order to build disruptive, financial technology apps that solve business problems while achieving competitive advantage through new or improved products and services.
- King Price Insurance – whose car insurance premiums decrease monthly in line with the depreciation of a car’s value.
- Purple Group’s The Bundles, a platform allows individuals to invest in a basket of shares. It provides access to a predetermined stock selection created by respected fund managers and CIOs from some of South Africa’s top financial services providers.
- SSG Consulting’s KEY360, a revolutionary cloud-based business and project management solution with exceptional capabilities to handle workflow, data, documents, dashboards, KPIs, business and staff optimisation together with upskilling.
Overall Innovation Masters (turnover less than R35 million)
- Bramhope – whose partnership programme builds and maintains long-term relationships between like-minded innovative companies in the health, safety and hygiene industries.
- Colony HQ’s online aggregation and database platform that translates Big data into little data, enabling clients to communicate with their customers using relevant messaging at the right time/s.
- Rethink Education’s Bite-sized mathematics and science education delivered via mobile phones for students in grades 8 to 12.
Top Innovative Concepts (turnover in excess of R35 million)
- Assupol’s instant Groceries, a mobile application that puts spending power in the hands of beneficiaries wherever they are, instantly via a mobile phone.
- Purple Group: Easy Equities, a platform that allows individuals to invest in a basket of shares. It provides access to a predetermined stock selection created by respected fund managers and CIOs from some of South Africa’s top financial services providers.
- USN – whose Blue Label Testing Lab (an interactive programme) allows consumers to customise the USN product to suit their specific needs.
- Spark ATM Systems, a fully developed supporting suite of monitoring and management software.
- Isometrix’s hyper-agile, multi-language, enterprise-ready solution for governance risk and compliance.
Top Innovative Concepts (emerging organisations)
- DQS, aboard game consisting of four superheroes and one villain, whose objective is to encourage children to learn and interact around best practices.
- Fuel Decontaminant, explosion-proof for petrol, diesel, jet fuel, bio fuel and paraffin.
- Kirkonsult – whose Carbotect organic detection tool verifies whether reductions in time, energy, water and chemical inputs could be sustained during standard industrial cleaning procedures.
- Quoros Biotech’s Microbial Cell Culture Bioreactors, a solution that develops ways of manufacturing natural products.
- Seeing Machines – uses advanced detection-and-prevention safety assistance technologies to track eye and facial movement in order to monitor fatigue, drowsiness and distraction events such as micro sleeps, texting and cell phone use as they occur. This provides for a real-time intervention strategy, improving operator, driver and environmental safety, preserving assets and reducing risk.
- Standard Microgrid, a mini-utility utilising a combination of solar PV, energy storage, cloud based grid management and granular demand side management devices to transform a rural off-grid village into a hyper efficient group of networked smart homes.
- Vuselela Energy’s Vuselela Energy’s Thermal Harvesting power plant, Eternity Power, a global, first-of-its-kind clean energy power plant based at the Anglo American Platinum Waterval Smelting Complex near Rustenburg, North West Province. The Thermal Harvesting plant captures waste heat from the converter cooling circuit at the smelter to generate up to 4.3MW of clean electricity, then used by the smelter for its internal power consumption.
“We have been overwhelmed by both the quality and number of entries, seeing a strong focus on the use of innovation for the improvement of others from social through to business and education,” Mhangwani said.
“South Africa is well-known for its highly innovative culture, with the likes of Siya Xusa, Elon Musk and Mark Shuttleworth, among others, leading the way. We have every confidence that this year’s finalists, and ultimate winners, will continue spearheading South African innovation, enabling our country to not only create jobs and grow the economy, but continue to play a leading role in our highly innovative and constantly evolving world.”