In its 2015 Global Digital IQ Survey, PwC surveyed almost 2,000 businesses worldwide.
Researchers found that revenue growth was the number one priority for digital investments, with almost half of Australian executives agreeing. This was followed by aiming to improve customer experiences and increase profits.
In order to meet these goals, companies in Australia are spending moderately: 24% are allocating more than 15% of revenue to digital investments.
But how are companies around the country championing digital investments? PwC found that there were ten key attributes present at companies with high Digital IQs.
1. CEO champion
According to the research, nearly three-quarters of business leaders in Australia see their respective CEOs as champions for digital, in keeping with 73% globally.
2. Digital leaders set strategy
Seventy-eight percent of companies in Australia said that executives responsible for digital are involved in setting high-level business strategy. This was almost exactly
on par with the global 77%.
3. Executive team engaged
Eighty-four percent of respondents in Australia said their digital strategy was agreed upon and shared with its executive team, putting Australian companies ahead of the global average of 80%.
4. Strategy-sharing across the organization
Business-aligned digital strategy was agreed upon and shared enterprise-wide at 65% of companies in Australia, compared to 69% of companies globally.
5. Outside-in approach
Sixty-one percent of companies in Australia said they actively engaged with external sources to gather new ideas for applying emerging technologies. This fell below the global average of 64%.
6. Driven by competitive advantage
More than three-quarters – 78% – of respondents in Australia said they made enterprise investments primarily for competitive advantage, in keeping with 76% globally.
7. Effective use of business data
Sixty-seven percent of companies in Australia said they were effectively utilising all of the data they captured to drive business value, in comparison with 58% globally.
8. Proactive cybersecurity
More than three-quarters of companies in Australia said they proactively evaluate and plan for security and privacy risks in digital enterprise projects, in line with 76% globally.
9. Digital roadmap
Less than half (43%) of companies in Australia said they have a single, multi-year digital enterprise roadmap that includes business capabilities and processes as well as digital and IT components; globally, 53% said the same.
10. Consistent measurement
More than half of Australian respondents (57%) said that they consistently measure outcomes from digital investments, versus 72% globally.
The research also shed some light on who was leading digital overhauls at Australian companies – as well as the skills companies felt helped to make the process a success.
Who’s leading digital?
In Australia 57% of respondents said that their CEOs are ultimately responsible for digital enterprise investments, compared with just 34% globally. When it comes to the CIO’s role, only 35% of respondents said that the key responsibility is to lead all digital efforts, including innovation and market facing initiatives.
Globally, 40% said that this holds true for their organisation. Instead, 45% said that the CIO’s role is to lead internal IT efforts only, and in three years, that number grows to 55%.
Where leaders look for innovation
In Australia, 69% of executives look to industry analysts as sources for applying emerging technologies in new ways to solve business problems (globally, 63%) and only 37% are actively engaged across the vendor ecosystem (globally, 38%).
Researchers also found that companies in Australia could extract even greater value from digital through better connections externally. More than half Australian respondents said they make use of customer advisory surveys (globally, 52%). However, only 14% of leaders in Australia said they network with other companies, as opposed to 23% globally.
Skills they value
Seventy-six per cent of companies in Australia see user experience and human-centered design as most important to their business, with 69% saying their skills in this area were ‘developed’. Three-quarters of respondents from Australia give equal importance to three other skills areas: data analytics (69% see their skills as developed), creative strategy and design (55% see their skills as developed), and evaluating emerging technology (63% see their skills as developed).
Barriers they see
Eight out of 10 respondents in Australia pointed to outdated technologies as an obstacle to achieving the desired results from digital enterprise initiatives; globally, 67% point to this issue as an obstacle. Nearly as many respondents (78%) said that integration of new technologies and data is an obstacle, as opposed to 73% globally. And 69% of respondents in Australia view lack of properly skilled teams as an obstacle, in line with the 70% globally who point to the same issue.
PwC also had the following tips for companies looking to improve their Digital IQ:
1. Dig in to your Digital IQ
2. Conduct a digital strategy workshop
3. Start a digital dialogue
4. Develop a disruption strategy
5. Expand your ecosystems
The Australian workforce is not as confident as its international counterparts when it comes to embracing digital technology, according to research by PwC.