Digital transformation is key to the road of business recovery

27 September 2020 Consultancy.com.au

In its ‘2020 Beyond Disruption’ report, based on around 600 interviews conducted with business leaders in Australia and New Zealand, DXC Technology uncovers the importance for embracing technology-driven initiatives to build more organisational resilience, and sheds light on some of the key priorities for any digital roadmap.

The majority (86%) of large organisations surveyed believe they so far have managed the disruption well, compared to a lower proportion of small-medium enterprises (SMEs), at 61%. What has become abundantly clear, is that technology is now seen by the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand organisations as the answer – or at least, a large part of the answer – to overcoming disruption. 

As a result, 68% of leaders told DXC Technology that they plan to update their technology strategy, and plan to increase technology spending by 5% across the entire business, rising to 10% for those with over 1,000 employees, reaffirming technology as a key enabler. 

Technology as a key enabler in managing disruption

Most organisations have over the past period invested in cloud services and enhanced cybersecurity, in mobile applications to engage with customers and employees, in remote learning platforms, and in virtual staff such as chatbots and digital assistants. 

Looking ahead, workplace modernisation has been earmarked as most important investment over the next 12 months, followed by data analytics and cloud services. Rounding off the top five priorities are beefing up cybersecurity and investing in business applications, with a focus on transitioning from legacy applications to more modern ones. 

Successfully delivering and embedding digital-driven change is however notorious for its pitfalls, with one estimate from McKinsey & Company showing that the success rate of digital transformation programmes is lower than that of other programmes, and hovers below the 50% mark depending on scope, context and approach followed.

Top five most important investments

Five recommendations

Based on its discussions with leaders, as well as track record in the digital sphere, the authors (led by Asia Pacific Managing Director Seelan Nayagam) present five recommendations and priorities for digital transformation endeavours. 

Governance and leadership is key

Using technology to help create business resiliency cannot be an aspirational target – instead it must be a defined organisational strategy. Boards and executives must raise their technology literacy and ensure there is support for the increased dependency on technology to drive resiliency.

Leaders must actively pursue new thinking and ideas, be prepared to change business models and processes, and also work collaboratively with their employees to execute changes. In adapting to new ways of working, careful consideration needs to be given to the cultural impact of these changes on employee well-being.

Create intuitive employee experiences

Choosing the right platforms for collaboration, workflow, insights and planning matters now more than ever. It is equally prudent to rationalise core applications and standardise the employee experience within a simple cloud-based platform. Sustainable, secure, simple and scalable experiences allow employees to be multi-disciplinary, adapt better to change, and maximise their productivity and creativity. 

With an individual’s location and chosen working hours no longer dictating their level of productivity, employees are expecting technology solutions which make their lives easier so they can focus on getting the job done.

Key business recovery priorities

Modernise the technology core for flexibility and resilience

Technology modernisation drives organsational flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and also take advantage of new opportunities. The monolithic platforms of the past are still holding organisations back far more than they realise. Furthermore, once platforms have been in place for some time, it’s important to optimise those investments to drive down the cost of providing services to customers. Automation will play a key role in managing core technology platforms; therefore, a clear and scalable solution is key for recovery and growth. 

Secure the organisation against increased threats

The fast-paced nature of a modern organisation means they are constantly making changes to their technology footprint. Unfortunately, these changes allow criminals the opportunity to exploit weaknesses both directly within the technology and also amongst the people that use them. Businesses need to revisit all current security processes, ensuring their employees have strong security awareness and training, and also plan for business continuity.

It is imperative security is embedded in everyday processes with a focus on simple, usable, and modular solutions. 

Harness the power of data

Organisations must take advantage of the power of data and analytics to improve operational resilience, revitalise products and services, increase margins and drive growth. It is imperative that organisations can access trusted data that allows a holistic view of their customer and operations, in order to identify new opportunities and data-driven services at scale.

It is important that this doesn’t just happen organically but is planned, managed and embedded within the business. Employees should be encouraged to improve their data literacy and use data in new and creative ways. 

Recovery expectations

Outlook

In terms of the road to economic recovery, the study demonstrates the varying levels of optimism from ANZ organisations. Almost half (48%) of large organisations are confident they will fully recover by the end of the year, compared to just one in five SMEs. Generally, half of respondents (54%) believe it will take one to three years to fully recover, yet just 6% said it will likely take longer than three years to recover.


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