The Growth Horizon

Investment in Innovation to Remain Strong in 2016 for U.S. Businesses

Over Half of Business Owners and Executives Surveyed Expect Their Investment in Innovation to Increase

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS–(Marketwired – June 9, 2016) – BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found business owners and executives in the United States expect to continue to invest heavily in innovation, with a full 97 percent of respondents expecting their investment in innovation either to increase (53 percent) or stay the same.

The study, which surveyed 839 business owners and executives across the country, also examined the biggest barriers to innovation within their organizations.

The overwhelming answer was the investment/capital required (38 percent), followed by a lack of necessary workforce skillsets (20 percent) and difficulties in quantifying the return on investment (18 percent).

“The increasing pace of innovation is encouraging, and the results of this survey reflect the confidence that business leaders continue to have in their own growth prospects,” said Ray Whitacre, Head, U.S. Diversified Industries, BMO Harris Bank. “With evolving customer expectations, fostering a company culture of continuous innovation is important for employee creativity and for future growth.”

The survey also identified the key reasons why respondents continue to focus on innovation:

  • 47 percent cited changing consumer demands
  • 46 percent cited greater operating efficiency
  • 44 percent cited value creation
  • 37 percent cited increased competition
  • 22 percent cited regulatory compliance

Compete & Prosper

“Investing in one’s business, with an eye to innovation, is a critical key to increasing competitiveness, to profitably expanding sales volumes or holding on to existing sales volumes,” said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets. “For exporters and firms competing with imports, the strong U.S. dollar has added a sense of urgency to becoming more efficient via innovation. This is also a critical key to mitigating the margin pressures poised by escalating labor costs, pressures that are expected to build as the labor market tightens further.”

the results of this survey reflect the confidence that business leaders continue to have in their own growth prospects

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The survey results cited from the 2015 Business Report conducted by Pollara were compiled from a random sample of owners or senior decision makers from 839 businesses across the U.S. Research was conducted between October 31 and November 9, 2015. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ┬▒ 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.



About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank’s commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank and credit approval. BMO Harris Bank┬« is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $681 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2016).