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What big companies can learn from start-ups

Innovation requires risk-taking and strong leadership

London, 6th March 2014 - Gone are the days when large, decades-old corporations alone changed the world - now, the companies changing the way we do business are just as likely to have been started five years ago from a spare room.

New research from automation specialist Automic reveals what it is that helps young start-ups succeed - and what others can learn from them.

Automic surveyed start-up companies in the UK, US and Germany to find out their recipe for success: how do they innovate so quickly, what can large organizations learn from the way they work; is culture critical to innovation and how important is IT to success.

The results show the huge influence of the typical "start-up" mentality on successful innovation: Start-ups are willing to take risks, driven by a common vision and product-focused view. They establish an innovation-friendly corporate culture and go easy on human and financial resources.

Innovation is rooted in the DNA of start-ups
Most start-ups rely on the "lean start-up approach", a principle of corporate governance that keeps processes as lean as possible. True to the motto "learning by experience", these start-ups launch new products quickly and rely on the feedback of their customers, meaning they can swiftly correct errors faster and reduce development costs. And while many may imagine young start-ups enjoy a form of creative chaos, in fact 75% have a process and methodology around innovation and product development.

New approaches to tech
Three quarters of start-up respondents automate much of their everyday IT, resulting in greater predictability, sustainability and cost efficiency. This "work smarter, not harder" approach allows them to focus on innovation rather than everyday tasks and "keeping the lights on". In addition, rather than being bound to service providers, start-ups aren't afraid to go elsewhere once service providers no longer meet their needs.

Large company culture can inhibit innovation
Risk-taking is needed in order for organizations to flourish. While large corporations prioritise traditional values such as predictability, reliability and continuity, start-ups focus more on innovation and creativity, and empower their people to pursue this. 70% believe companies fail to innovate due to lack of empowerment and resource; 90% believe that business leaders must be willing to fail.

And rather than the consensus approach favored by many large corporates, half of ambitious start-ups say that a strong 'dictatorial' founder and their vision are of crucial importance.

Craig Beddis, Automic CMO, says: "Most big corporations know that innovation is the fuel of success, but they also have to admit that start-ups are ahead when it comes to innovation. Start-ups are clearly more willing to take risks and pride themselves on their flexibility. Larger organizations should take a leaf from the start-up book and look at how they can 'be more start-up' in their approach to innovation."

Download the whitepaper here:

About the survey
The research was undertaken with a cross-industry sample of US, UK and German start-ups during November-December 2013, via face-to-face interviews on a non-attributable basis.

About Automic
Automic is the world's most comprehensive platform for automating businesses. Founded in 1985, Automic pioneered the largest, independent, globally deployed automation platform which powers enterprise, application and infrastructure processes. Now, as the consumerization of IT accelerates, Automic is reimagining how organizations integrate next generation service models such as Cloud, DevOps and Big Data. By challenging conventional thinking, Automic enables its customers to be faster, smarter, and in control. Automic - the standard in business automation.

Twitter: @AutomicSoftware

Source: RealWire

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