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Australian organisations 'in danger of falling behind' in global expansion efforts

29 Sep 2016

Up to 61% of Australian organisations are being left behind in the race to global expansion through cloud technology, especially when compared to the rest of Asia.

New research conducted by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by NetSuite has shown that just 28% of Australian organisations are planning to enter international markets in the next five years - and only 55% of business believe it's a 'primary growth engine'.

Furthermore, 19% of Australian organisations believe globalisation is in fact a threat to their business.

This is a market difference to organisations in Singapore and Hong Kong, of whom 70% believe international expansion is a growth engine.

“The last few years have seen a concerted effort by the Australian government to encourage international expansion, including the creation of several Free Trade Agreements, so it’s surprising to see that Australian businesses are not responding to this opportunity more enthusiastically," says Mark Dougan, Frost & Sullivan's managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

The differences continue to be evident when looking at the 61% of Australian organisations that operate domestic only, compared to only 30% in Hong Kong and 42% in Singapore.

"With other markets in Asia pursuing globalisation aggressively, Australia is in danger of falling behind. Australian businesses need to look beyond the obvious barriers of distance and complexity, and find enabling technologies like cloud which will enable them to start taking advantage of the possibilities that internationalisation offers," Dougan continues.

A lack of cloud presence is one of the factors inhibiting international growth, the research found.

Seventy percent of cloud users are internationalised, compared to just 22% of non-cloud organisations. In addition, the research found that 71% of cloud organisations have expanded to new international markets in the last five years, while only 31% of non-cloud organisations have done the same.

“Many of our Australian customers have used NetSuite OneWorld as their ERP platform for international growth. NetSuite OneWorld can allow you to navigate the complexity of doing business globally without the usual barriers to entry. Numerous customers have built global success on the back of our platform, and have been surprised by how seamless the process can be,” says Lee Thompson, SVP, APJ at NetSuite.

The research also found that cloud opportunities are important for access to IT resources and internationalisation.

“The research shows a clear linkage, by a factor of three, between companies using cloud–based software, and becoming international. Leveraging a cloud based business platform is a good place for all businesses to start when considering how to tackle overseas expansion," Dougan explains.

Dougan believes that businesses that are 'born global' have tackled international opportunities during early stages of development are better positioned for growth.

This is because they have been able to take critical business functions like accounting, taxation and reporting to the cloud, instead of using costly software and enhancements that are difficult to apply to international growth, he says.

The research surveyed more than 800 senior executives in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore.

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