Thursday, 17 July 2014 16:09

Collaboration worth $46 billon to Aussie economy, but not everybody is on board Featured

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Collaboration between businesses is helping to fuel economic growth, with a newly published study finding that the economic value of faster-growing, profitable businesses with collaboration at their core is worth a whopping $49 billion a year to the Australian economy.

And, according to the study commissioned by Google Australia and undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics, Australian companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable, and twice as likely to outgrow competitors.

Worryingly, the study also found that half of Aussie businesses have no collaboration strategy, “or their people don’t know if they do.”

“What we have found is a strong correlation between collaboration and the performance of Australian companies. Those that actively encourage collaboration do better. And not by a little, but by a lot,” says Deloitte Digital national leader Frank Farrall.

{loadpositon peter}“Collaboration, driven by a clear strategy, brings revenue growth, more profit, greater employee satisfaction, higher productivity, improved product quality and innovation.”

There’s a note of caution, too, for Australian business from Deloitte Access Economics’ partner Ric Simes who says Australia is now confronting “very real issues around disruption, innovation and productivity, as productivity has fallen at an average 0.6% a year since 2007-08.”

“Yet according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only 36.6% of Australian businesses were innovative in 2012-13 and introduced new or significantly improved goods, services or processes. This was down from 41.3% on the year before.

“When we add up all the potential across Australian business, collaboration can play a critical role in driving productivity.”

And, according to Google Enterprise Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Kevin Ackhurst, collaboration is something that many companies talk about, “but few have robust collaboration strategies in place.”

“Now that we can finally see the true value of collaboration to the Australian economy, we hope Aussie companies will think about the tools and approaches they need to deliberately increase collaboration in their workplace.

“There is $9.3 billion worth of value (if companies make the most of opportunities to collaborate) more sitting on the table – and that’s just from opportunities specifically identified. Imagine how much more value is sitting out there that we don’t know about.”

According to Deloitte Access Economics director John O’Mahony, at $46 billion collaboration is worth around 3% of the value of the Australian economy each year; or equivalent of a large sector such as agriculture or utilities.

Other key research findings include:

• Companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable, and twice as likely to outgrow competitors

• Only 20% of businesses without collaboration strategies outgrew the market, compared to 30% with a middling strategy, and 52% with an important strategy

• Only 24% of survey respondents said they had a collaboration strategy that was important for their business

• Half of businesses have no collaboration strategy – or their people don’t know if they do

• Over 35% of respondents said collaboration helps them work faster, while 18% said their work could be impossible without collaboration.

In addition to economic modelling and research on existing collaboration taking place in Australian businesses, 1,000 employees and business managers were surveyed in established markets, and with new players across various industries and geographies.

To view the full report click here


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a 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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