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Businesses aim to protect innovation by retaining skills

Warwick Ashford

Businesses reliant on innovation to remain competitive are focusing on skills retention, says business advisory firm Grant Thornton.

As companies continue to feel the effects of the recession, the trend is to looking for new ways of keeping key staff, says Niki Dixon, partner at Grant Thornton.

"With many stocks under water, we are seeing companies thinking laterally, offering things like iPhones as a welcome, but low-cost alternatives to bonuses," says Dixon.

Tech companies, in particular, are attempting to create stimulating environments by outsourcing as many of the mundane tasks as possible.

Collaboration among industry peers is another positive consequence of businesses faced with the challenge of doing more with limited resources, says Dixon.

A spirit of "open innovation" is particularly apparent in the computer game industry where competitors are collaborating on common challenges such as compliance, she said.

According to Dixon, the recession has come as a "profound shock" to most companies.

Few are likely to go back to the old way of doing business, including large IT budgets, when the economy improves, she said.


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