One of the consequences of the disruption of 2020 was that IT decision-makers were required to rapidly drive transformation through the business, and this meant new technologies and, looking forward, this is going to introduce new opportunities for the business to improve both the efficiency and productivity of the enterprise.\n\nResearch conducted through an IDG Pulse Survey, commissioned by business nbn\u2122, suggests that the appetite for Australian businesses to undergo digital transformation is strong. According to the survey, over 50 per cent of business leaders from IDG\u2019s Australian readership plan on accelerating their digital strategy this year.\n\nThe specific technologies that have been hot-button topics for investment as a way of mitigating the disruption, and now delivering competitive advantage, according to the Pulse Survey, are:\n\nUnderpinning the success of all these technology investments is the strength of the network. As organisations become increasingly reliant on digital technologies for their way of working and interacting with their customers, having a robust, reliable, and highly scalable network becomes core to the health of the business itself.\n\nThe survey shows that these shifts have not always been smooth, but most business leaders were able to adapt quickly. Over 50 per cent of business leaders from IDG\u2019s Australian readership either have existing resiliency plans that accounted for COVID or were able to rapidly adapt to the new conditions when supported by a robust network. Australian organisations have the innovative spirit and flexibility to adopt an innovative transformation strategy that will set them up well for what comes next.\n\nThe investments that will deliver transformation\n\nGartner research suggests that there will be an 8.4 per cent spike in global IT spending in 2021, as organisations start to become forward-thinking again and capitalise on the opportunities established by their investments into resiliency and transformation over the past 18 months. As the IDG Pulse Survey suggests, IT leaders are anticipated to be part of this trend. Local CIOs are looking to the cloud to set a new pace with competitive advantage. Both cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools (17 per cent) and cloud environments (16 per cent) are key targets for ongoing investments, according to the IDG Pulse Survey, and a further 14 per cent of IT leaders are looking to data and analytics solutions, to provide the data that underpins IT innovation.\n\nThese trends highlight that Australian CIOs understand that transformation needs to be successful at the foundations first. A possible reason for obstacles found in transformation exercises may be due to the hype and focus to implement solutions like AI, IoT and edge computing, without first establishing a robust foundation to enable their success. Instead, CIOs will also need to keep an eye on the underlying infrastructure that will deliver the transformed environment. As more of the focus on the IT environment transitions to the digital delivery of services, having a robust and highly scalable network backbone becomes critical to the health of the business.\n\nHow enterprises benefit from a successful transformation\n\nAs to what CIOs will be investing in with the ongoing spending into IT, the IDG Pulse Survey highlights a broad spread, from video conferencing and cloud environments, right through to AI and IoT:\n\nThe consistent goal of these investments is to deliver a superior customer experience by leveraging digital capabilities. Those Australian enterprises that successfully implement these solutions can expect to see the customer experience that they\u2019re providing enhanced in several ways, including:\n\nNow is the time to transform\n\nUltimately, the success of any of these investments that CIOs and IT decision-makers are looking at relies on first having the underlying networking in place. The more that the business\u2019 interactions \u2013 whether internally or with customers \u2013 are done over digital platforms, the more critical network performance becomes.\n\nMost enterprises are going to want strict service level agreements (SLA) for their network environment to increase confidence in minimum downtime, and this also means that finding the right partner and provider is a critical decision to the health of the business.\n\nEnhanced service level support is available to service providers for network plans powered by business nbn\u2122.* These services are supported by a Melbourne based dedicated operations centre that is available to provide support to service providers 24\/7 for any of their business customers on a business nbn\u2122 plan. These plans include options for shorter network fault rectification target times between nbn and providers, to help minimise downtime for businesses.\n\nBeyond that, network capacity \u2013 both for uploads and downloads \u2013 is essential for helping to ensure a seamless online experience throughout the day. As mission-critical applications become added to the on-cloud mix, IT leaders will also want a network that can provide access to priority data, to ensure real-time data transfer where it is necessary.\n\nWhat we have seen occur over the past 18 months is that CIOs have effectively been undertaking best practice investments into digital transformation. With over half of them looking to continue this approach into the future, Australian enterprises that are operating off a stable, reliable and fast network backbone are in a strong position to rapidly accelerate their competitive position going forward.