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Digital transformation gap closing but we’re still behind

By Ben Moore
Thu 7 Feb 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Infosys has released new global research, the Infosys Digital Radar 2019, to understand how businesses are transforming to enable disruptive business models at scale as displayed by digital natives.  

What’s happening in Australia

The report showed that despite the number of Australian organisations behaving like digital natives increasing from 16% to 19%, they are still behind their global counterparts (21%). 

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.

 The four biggest barriers for accelerating their digital transformation journey is lack of change management capabilities (45%), inadequate collaboration between IT and business lines (43%), lack of digital skills (42%) and risk-averse culture (42%). 

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

 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, 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.

What can organisations expect in 2019

In 2018 research, Infosys found incumbent 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 for differentiation.

Globally, the research found a large shift between the Explorers and Watchers cohorts, with Explorers rising 11% and Watchers falling by 10%, which demonstrates many businesses across the globe are shifting from efficiency-driven digital adoption, to digital programs that enhance customer experience.

There was also a slight drop in Visionaries to 21% (down 1%).

What can businesses do to accelerate their digital transformation

There are five digital accelerators that are fundamental to an organisation’s digital journey. 

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. 

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.

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

“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 1,200 new employees in Australia and building three innovation hubs by 2020. The hiring and the Innovation hubs will serve as a platform to build more digital skills and to enable Infosys to co-create and co-innovate alongside clients, academia and government.”

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