Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:39

Australian businesses push ahead with transformation to digital

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Australian businesses push ahead with transformation to digital Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australia ranks as the fifth most digitally mature country in the Asia Pacific, Japan, and China region and 13th globally, and 78% of Australian businesses believe they are continually innovating and 88% are investing, or have already invested, in digital transformation.

According to a newly published survey conducted for Dell by research firm Vanson Bourne, by sharing knowledge and creating a positive culture, business Australian business leaders will be better placed to overcome barriers to digital transformation.

In the 2016 Digital Transformation Index, Australia was in second place in APJC, behind India, with emerging markets Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea having since been included in the research.

“Australian businesses have a positive outlook for the next five years. We are confident we will meet customer demands, remain competitive with our peers, and believe our employees have the right skill sets to drive success,” says Mark Fioretto, vice-president and managing director, Enterprise, Dell EMC ANZ.

“Yet 80% of business leaders believe that digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organisations, signalling that more work still needs to be done.

“From the research, we can also see that emerging markets in APJC are quickly becoming digitally mature. Businesses in Australia must continue to share knowledge across businesses and industries as we support each other in the digital transformation journey to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.”

“Developing a positive and supportive company culture is essential for a successful digital transformation journey,” says Jocelyn Macedo, vice-president, Human Resources, Asia Pacific and Japan, Dell.

“Developing in-house digital skills and talent — teaching more employees how to code, for example — will help transform the workforce.

“Almost two thirds of Australian businesses are sharing knowledge about their digital transformation across their organisation, equipping IT leaders with business skills and business leaders with IT skills. It’s encouraging that leaders are integrating digital goals into departmental and staff objectives – setting the right mindset now will set businesses on track to success.”    

According to the research, Australian businesses aren’t as worried as the rest of the APJC region about being left behind in digital transformation.

Only 18% of Australian businesses surveyed are worried they will be left behind compared to New Zealand at 26% – while the rest of the region surveyed is much more concerned, including 50% in Japan, 48% in Malaysia and 47% in Taiwan.

The research also reveals that Australia believes it has the right skills to achieve digital transformation:

  • Only 25% of businesses cite this as a barrier compared to 30% in New Zealand, 44% in Thailand and 33% across APJC.
  • While three-quarters believe they have the right skills, 80% believe digital transformation should be more widespread across their entire organisation.
  • But Australia is making progress as almost two thirds (62%) of Australian businesses say they are sharing knowledge across business functions, compared with just under half (48%) in APJC.

Other results of the survey revealed that:

  • Ninety-three percent of Australian businesses are planning to invest, investing or have invested in security;
  • Ninety-one percent of Australian businesses are planning to invest, investing or have invested in multi-cloud;
  • Eighty-eight percent of Australian businesses are planning to invest, investing or have invested in data centre modernisation;
  • Eighty-nine percentof Australian businesses are planning to invest, investing or have invested in software defined technology; and
  • Eighty-two percent of Australian businesses are planning to invest, investing or have invested in converged infrastructure.

And, Australian businesses are the second most confident in APJC — tied with New Zealand — that they will meet customers’ demands over the next five years:

  • Only 30% of ANZ businesses think they will struggle to meet customer demands compared to 91% in South Korea and 71% in Thailand.
  • Only China is more confident at 27%.

Australian businesses believe they are trustworthy:

  • Seventy-nine percenttrust their organisation will comply with regulations; 
  • But only 68% trust their organisation to protect its customer data; and
  • Only 19% of Australian businesses think they will struggle to prove they are a trustworthy organisation over the next five years compared to 85% in South Korea, 61% in Indonesia,60% in Thailand.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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