Tuesday, 20 September 2011 18:00

Technology stands out as key driver of change

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Technology will be the single biggest organisational change in the next 10 years for Australian businesses, with company executives citing technological advances as the primary reason for gaining efficiencies and making their businesses more competitive. Employees, however, see the priorities for change a little bit differently.


In a two-part survey of 300 Australian executives responsible for change, and 700 general business workers not responsible for change, Canon said that when asked what will be the single biggest change their organisation will go through in the next ten years, 43 per cent of business leaders overwhelmingly said that technological advancements were top of the list.

This was over and above other areas such as general company changes (19 per cent), people changes (18 per cent) and wider economic/legislative changes (18 per cent).

According to Canon director of business imaging, Craig Manson, the over-riding theme from the study was that despite agreeing change was important (86 per cent) and that their business will be left behind if they don't address it (73 per cent), 'just 39 per cent of Australian organisations embrace it and under half (49 per cent) take a pro-active stance on change.'

Manson said a healthy proportion of respondents didn't believe their business had the right tools to deliver change (40 per cent), but agreed that technology played a very important role within the change process (95 per cent) and increased their competitive nature.

'Not only will technology be the biggest change organisations go through, it was also ranked highly among both sets of respondents as the main reason behind why change occurred in Australian businesses in the first place, Manson said.

Each survey group was asked to rank three of their top driving forces behind change, and Manson said 59 per cent of business leaders ranked technological advancements as the biggest driving force behind change, with financial (54 per cent) and people considerations (44 per cent) placed second and third respectively.

However, employees had a different view, allocating technology in fourth place (44 per cent), behind reasons such as increased competition (56 per cent), financial considerations (55 per cent) and the need to work smarter and increase productivity (51 per cent).

'If we look at everything that's 'changing' within Australian business, technology change is by far and away the biggest thing that organisations will go through in the next ten years,' Manson said.

But, Manson says that change is not about implementing technology for technology's sake, and he suggests organisations need to take the time to look at how their business is evolving and growing, working out how technology can align with the business, and 'changing it for the better and making it more competitive.'

Of the respondents who voted technological advancements across both surveys as their top reason for driving change, the reasons cited were:

'¢    The business gains better efficiencies and is more competitive (47 per cent)

'¢    Market forces dictate that technology is a crucial element of driving change (30 per cent)

'¢    The speed at which it can drive change for good (23 per cent)

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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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