Study shows Australian businesses could use a digital reality check

by FM Media
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A new study from IDC and Canon shows that 82 percent of Australian businesses are well in the midst of their digital transformation journey or have at least started, while the remaining 18 percent have no digital transformation strategy or are evaluating one.

While eight out of 10 believe they are on the path to digital transformation, when asked how businesses work with print and document processes only 14 percent have completely digitised business processes and more than 28 percent of organisations still work with paper-based documents.

IDC research director Adam Dodds says the study shows the perception and the reality of where businesses are at is different.

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

“IDC predict 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.”

The study shows 59 percent of businesses are at the point where data from digital sources exceeds that from paper-based sources at 41 percent. The gap is anticipated to only widen over the coming five years, digital sources will increase to 78 percent and paper-based will decrease to 22 percent by 2020.

The IDC-Canon Transformation Study 2016 examines which document-based processes and workflows are seen as critical to transform, re-engineer and automate. The results show an extremely strong focus on back office, administrative and operational processes to improve efficiency.

In particular financial processes, such as accounts payable and receivable, are seen to be the most critical to transform. These processes are viewed as ‘low hanging fruit’ because they are both document and resource intensive and readily digitally transformed.

In terms of what outcomes IT decision makers are looking for from digital transformation, the stand out result is improved decision-making with 89 percent of businesses citing this.

Interestingly, 78 percent say the outcome they want to achieve is to improve employee experience, higher than improving customer experience at 55 percent.

Canon Australia head of customer marketing Nitya Padman believes the strong result on employee experience is because businesses realise they need to transform their processes and workflows if they’re going to attract and retain young talent.

“Trends in the study point to differences in what motivates small- to medium-sized businesses and larger businesses to digitise and what progress they are making,” Padman says.

“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.

“For larger businesses a big motivator to transform is the rising cost of doing business. Larger organisations are heavily impacted by legacy systems. This is a major deterrent to progressing at a faster rate along the digital transformation journey.”

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