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.
Research conducted through an IDG Pulse Survey, commissioned by business nbn™, 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’s Australian readership plan on accelerating their digital strategy this year.
The 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:
Underpinning 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.
The 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’s 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.
The investments that will deliver transformation
Gartner 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.
These 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.
How enterprises benefit from a successful transformation
As 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:
The 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’re providing enhanced in several ways, including:
- Real-time, data-driven customer insights; organisations will be able to respond to market trends and events much more rapidly – even in real time – to provide a better customer experience and deliver better efficiency.
- Better collaboration; enterprises are able to leverage the talents of remote employees and work more closely with outsourcing partners to broaden their access to services and enable 24/7 working environments.
- A faster time to market; the agility that transformation drives across the organisation allow for more rapid product and service development, giving enterprises a competitive edge by allowing them to innovate first.
- Greater profits; finally, it is as simple as this – successful transformation drives profits. Enterprises that have delivered transformation report an increase in profits as high as 80 per cent, and an increase in market share as high as 85 per cent.
Now is the time to transform
Ultimately, 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’ interactions – whether internally or with customers – are done over digital platforms, the more critical network performance becomes.
Most 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.
Enhanced service level support is available to service providers for network plans powered by business nbn™.* 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™ plan. These plans include options for shorter network fault rectification target times between nbn and providers, to help minimise downtime for businesses.
Beyond that, network capacity – both for uploads and downloads – 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.
What 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.