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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> innovation
Feb 25

High-flying tech companies pay their stars more--a lot more

Posted by annearf in your careersoftwaresilicon valleypayinnovation


Innovation is all well and good. But if it's the lifeblood of your company, you'd better be willing to pay for it by way of hefty compensation for whomever is doing the innovating.

In other words, innovation is expensive.

Feb 01

China moves into second place in global R&D; spending

Posted by Karen1 in R&D;innovationChina


By a wide margin, the US maintains its place at the front of the line when it comes to spending on R&D, as well as its perceived leadership in different areas of research, including healthcare, energy generation and aerospace, the 2011 Global R&D Funding Forecast by Battelle Memorial Institute, found. Battelle, based in  Columbus, Ohio, is a charitable trust dedicated to scientific, educational, technology and community endeavors.

Still, this isn't the time to get cocky. A number of other countries have significantly increased their R&D spending and are gaining ground. China, for instance, boosted its R&D outlays by about 10 percent annually over the past few years. It now accounts for 12.9 percent of global R&D spending, having inched ahead of Japan, which is expected to record 12.1 percent of R&D expenditures this year. Europe's share has slipped from 24.1 percent in 2009 to a forecasted 23.2 percent in 2011.

Nov 24

Which states are the most, least competitive?

Posted by annearf in Risk, new economy, knowledge workers, innovation


The key to economic competitiveness lies in fostering innovation. And to be well-positioned to drive innovation-based growth, US state economies need to be structured around such factors as attracting more engineers and immigrant knowledge workers.

What's more, some states are way ahead, while others are woefully behind.

Nov 22

How to encourage a culture of innovation

Posted by dbedell in TechnologySocial Networkingsilicon valleyinnovationcluster theoryCareers/Management


In a blog last week on the Chronicle of Higher Education, Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, discussed the problems with cluster theory for economic development—wherein government incentives and a business park are brought together with venture capital and a nearby university to encourage the growth of clusters of entrepreneurial businesses with links to local academia to encourage innovation.

Wadhwa believes that many of these efforts have failed because they are missing out on some of the key features that necessarily must exist in order to encourage the kind of growth and development seen in a true success story, such as Silicon Valley.

Sep 15

CFOs want quick ROI on IT spend

Posted by dbedell in working capitalSAPreturn on investmentinnovationdays' sales outstandingCIOschief financial officerCFOCashbiztechAT Kearney


CFOs and CIOs have very different priorities when it comes to IT spend, and that dichotomy is not likely to change any time soon, even as IT budgets are starting to once again increase.

After being slashed to almost nil during the height of the crisis for many corporations across sector and size, IT budgets are beginning to rise.

Sep 15

Innovation killer: Top executives

Posted by annearf in senior managementproduct developmentinnovationcareer


 What's the secret to product innovation that's both cost-effective and successful? It's making sure top managers aren't involved.

We're not talking about keeping their direct participation to a minimum. We mean not taking part in the proceedings at all.

Sep 14

Innovation may be threatened by declining start-up IPOs

Posted by dbedell in venture capitalVantagePointstartupMorgan Stanley Private Equitymergers and acquisitionsIPOinnovationDealsbiztech


It’s a trend that many may have noticed on some level, but few have actually pointed out. Fewer and fewer start-ups are aiming for an IPO. More and more the goal is to sell out to someone larger, who can move the company to the next level or bolt it onto their existing infrastructure.

However, venture capital available to start-ups and later-stage developments is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Some of the biggest VC deals in the second quarter this year were in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jul 15

Corporate IT buyers looking for quick ROI

Posted by dbedell in ROIIT spendinginnovationhardwareCashbiztech


With Intel’s announcement this week of record quarterly profits—the highest in its history—companies are once again growing their IT budgets and investing in new or updated technology. But given still-tight lending markets and the desire to make best use of liquidity, that spend will be highly targeted on projects with quick return-on-investment.

Intel reported revenues of $10.8 billion this quarter, garnering gross margins of 67 percent and $0.51 earnings per share. According to the company, much of their growth was driven by corporate investment in new hardware as companies look to replace outdated servers, PCs and the like.

Jul 08

Customers drive innovation

Posted by SherylNash01 in innovationideascustomerscustomer servicecareer/management


As companies emerge from the recession, they are looking for new ways to grow. Ingenuity is key, and a number of companies are looking to their customers to help them drive innovation.

In the past two years, Masco Bath has turned the traditional product-development process on its head, reaching out to customers to help design new shower and bathing systems, rather than rely on in-house staff. The initiative called, Voice of the Customer (VOC), was the brainchild of president Chris Yankowich, as a way to cut costs and increase user satisfaction.

Apr 23

Financial innovation inevitably leads to crisis, says new research

Posted by Ron F in WorldcomTroubled Asset Relief ProgramRiskRegulationinnovationGoldman SachsFedEnroncomplianceBanksbanking reformBankingbank failuresbailout

Ron F

Paul Krugman's column today called my attention to a paper that anyone interested in financial reform should check out.

The paper completely contradicts the conventional wisdom that innovation in finance is a good thing.

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