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Does your business need a digital reality check?

By Heather Wright, Wed 27 Apr 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Australian businesses are in need of a digital reality check according to a new survey, which shows one in five businesses have no digital transformation strategy in place.

The Transformation Study 2016 from IDC and Canon shows 82% of Australian businesses are in the midst of their digital transformation – or have at least started, but only 14% of them have completely digitised business processes, and more than 28% of organisations still work with paper based documents.

Adam Dodds, IDC research director, says the study shows perception and reality are different with results indicating companies aren’t as advanced as they think ‘and could use a digital reality check’.

IDC has predicted that by 2020, one-third of top market share leaders will be significantly disrupted by competitors using new technologies.

“They are the driving force behind digital transformation and in order to stay relevant and competitive organisations must be willing to transform or go out of business,” Dodds says.

“The rising cost of operations, new business models and changing customer-buying patterns are all factors in the disruptive state of affairs right now.

“Businesses need to have a strategy for a digital world not a digital strategy. It’s critical for that strategy to start with the customer and to align the business to customer needs, that way the business evolves with the customer.”

The survey results show a strong focus on back office, administrative and operational processes, with financial processes such as accounts payable and receivable seen as the most critical to transform.

Key drivers include improved decision making, which was cited by 89% of businesses.

Dodds says the key here is improving visibility of information to inform decision-making processes.

“Efficiency dominated the other top factors being increased speed, reduced human erro and reduced costs,” he says.

For 78% of companies improved employee experience was also key – and rated higher than improving customer experience at 55%.

Nitya Padman, Canon Australia head of customer marketing, says the emphasis on employee experiences stems from a realisation businesses need to transform processes and workflows in order to attract and retain young talent.

“Employees are a critical part of the transformation process, if employees aren’t on board it’s very hard to change processes and practices,” Padman says.

“The study shows 47 per cent of businesses feel change management is a barrier to digital transformation and successful change hinges on employee experience,” she adds.

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