Home Strategy Australians lag global counterparts in digital transformation: report
Australians lag global counterparts in digital transformation: report Featured

Despite the number of Australian organisations behaving like so-called digital natives — those using and embracing digital technologies — increasing from 16% to 19%, they are still behind their global counterparts (21%), according to a newly published study.

According to the report, by Indian outsourcing giant Infosys, with a Digital Maturity Index of 53.1 compared to the global Average Digital Maturity Index of 57.4, Australia ranks second last, only above China, in the global survey across 7 regions and 12 industries. Australia ranked 6th out of seven countries on the Digital Maturity Index.

Infosys says the four biggest barriers for accelerating Australian organisations’ digital transformation journey is lack of change management capabilities (45%), inadequate collaboration between IT and business lines (43%), lack of digital skills (42%) and a risk averse culture (42%).

“This is a significant shift from 2018 research, where inability to experiment quickly, legacy systems, insufficient budget and inability to work across silos took the top spots,” Infosys notes.

The report, now in its second year, polled 103 senior business decision makers from the region’s largest organisations, each with a revenue of over $1 billion, and is designed to better understand where Australia and New Zealand’s largest enterprises are in their digital transformation journey and what they require to accelerate that journey.

In its 2018 research, Infosys found incumbent Australian organisations (as opposed to digital natives) fall into three clusters, with visionaries encompassing many of the digital native characteristics, followed by explorers and then watchers:

  • Visionaries are digital for transformation. They are able to identify the opportunities that can be utilised by changing to new business models as well as transform the business culture.
  • Explorers are digital for experience. They are committed to digital programs driven by either enhancing the customer experience or enabling seamless customer engagement across multiple business channels.
  • Watchers are digital for efficiency. They have begun partial deployment of digital initiatives, but they are largely focused on efficiency-driven outcomes, rather than digital or differentiation.

Globally, the research found a large shift between the Explorers and Watchers cohorts, with Explorers rising 11% and Watchers falling by 10%, which Infosys says demonstrates many businesses across the globe are shifting from efficiency-driven digital adoption, to digital programs that enhance customer experience. There was also as slight drop in Visionaries to 21% (down 1%).

According to Infosys, there are five digital accelerators that are fundamental for an organisations digital journey.

And the company says there is an overarching requirement for organisations to become more nimble and to adopt agile methodologies across the business, but not just in IT.

“This is a key success factor displayed by visionaries. Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and automation to unlock new business opportunities and enhance insights is also an essential ingredient,” Infosys notes.

“Companies with superior design skills allow them to find novel solutions to serve human needs. Organisations that are bridging the digital skills gap are building a culture that rewards and encourages learning. The fifth accelerator is about removing the physical barriers and bring teams closer together to enhance collaboration within the organisation and with partners and customers.”

Ashok Mysore, vice-president Australia and New Zealand, Infosys said, “We all know that digital transformation as a journey, is not just about technology, it’s also about building a visionary mind-set and an experimental culture”.  

“Australia is trailing behind our global counterparts; the organisations surveyed cite the digital skills gap as the number one inhibitor to accelerating the digital transformation journey. To help reduce the digital skills gap and help organisations accelerate their digital journey, I believe we need to embed a culture of continuous learning and education in every organisation and everyone.

“This is something I’m particularly passionate about and is the foundation of Infosys culture. We are hiring and training 1200 new employees in Australia and building three innovation hubs by 2020. The hiring and the Innovation hubs will serve as a platform build more digital skills and to enable Infosys to co-create and co-innovate alongside clients, academia and government.”

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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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