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Businesses need ‘digital reality check’

Thursday, 28 April 2016
By Print 21 Online Article

Australian businesses need a digital transformation strategy to avoid being left behind in an increasingly digital world, according to a new study.

The IDC-Canon Transformation Study 2016 study found that one in five Australian businesses have no digital transformation strategy, four out of five businesses have at least started or are in the midst of their digital transformation but only 14% have fully digitised processes.

“Whilst the study shows businesses have started down the path, the results indicate they’re not as advanced as they think they are and could use a digital reality check,” said IDC research director Adam Dodds.

“IDC predicts that by 2020, one third of top market share leaders will be significantly disrupted by competitors using new technologies,” he said. “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.  The rising cost of operations, new business models and changing customer-buying patterns are all factors in the disruptive state of affairs right now.”

The study examined which document-based processes and workflows were seen as critical to transform, re-engineer and automate.  The results showed a strong focus on back office, administrative and operational processes to improve efficiency.  In particular, financial processes such as accounts payable and receivable were seen as the most critical areas to transform.

The study also pointed to differences between small to medium sized businesses and larger businesses.

Small to medium sized businesses are heavily reliant on IT to help them stay agile, counter costs and improve productivity.  Their needs are immediate and they’re more readily able to transform to create more efficient workflows and improve ways of interacting with customers.

“In short, smaller businesses are punching above their weight and moving ahead in the digital race,” said Nitya Padman, Canon Australia’s head of customer marketing. “Larger organisations are heavily impacted by legacy systems. This is a major deterrent to progressing at a faster pace along the digital transformation journey. The study clearly shows whatever size your business is, be realistic about where you’re at on your digital transformation journey or risk getting left behind in an increasingly digital world.”

The report comes a week after pro-paper initiative Two Sides Australia (TSA) launched its Keep Me Posted campaign to fight a switch to digital billing by some companies that are now charging customers for the privilege of receiving a paper bill in the post.

“The rush to embrace digital is not the most sensible move for companies,” said TSA executive director Kellie Northwood. “Currently, one in five Australians are not accessing the internet at home and consumers report a strong preference for paper, with 80% reporting they prefer reading from paper than reading from screen.”

* The IDC-Canon Transformation Study 2016 (excerpt below) conducted 170 phone-based interviews with Australian organisations.


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