By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics ranked third in the world in terms of innovation, just behind Apple and Google, according to global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Thursday.
In its annual survey of the world's top 50 innovative companies, the U.S.-based consultancy said that the Korean electronics giant moved up eight places from a year ago. BCG polled 1,512 senior executives in over 20 markets for this year's survey.
Apple retained the top post for the eighth straight year, while Google maintained the runner-up position since 2006. Microsoft ranked fourth, followed by Facebook (fifth), IBM (sixth) and Sony (seventh).
''In such a challenging environment, the key question has become one of how executives can focus their limited attention on a handful of key levers that drive success. The key to being a successful innovator lies not in being great in all aspects but rather in identifying which ones are critical to your innovation strategy,'' BCG said in a report.
It admitted that major technology companies have locked horns over intellectual property issues, with billions of dollars at stake and identified three strategies that top innovators use to deploy intellectual property as a weapon to support, accelerate and capture value from their innovation agenda.
''Define the optimal intellectual property value equation to measure value. Develop the required skills, techniques and tools to adjust this equation as realities shift. Design clear organizational decision rights, role charters and metrics across the intellectual property life cycle.''
The rise in Samsung's ranking indicates that the firm's zeal for product innovation and to leapfrog hardware technology has paid off.
The Korean company welcomed the result as the ranking means it has been credited for its efforts to become a market creator from a fast-follower, according to officials.
'' Although we have been entangled in a patent battle with Apple, we've been heavily investing in product innovation. Last week's technology show in the United States proved Samsung is the first to realize a real evolution in future devices using bendable and unbreakable screens,'' said a mid-ranking executive by telephone.