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AU businesses not realising value from tech investments
Tue, 23rd Aug 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Cognizant has announced the Australian findings from global research aimed at understanding the state of modern business and how leaders are preparing for long-term success in a post-pandemic world.

This comprehensive survey of business leaders across eight industries and ten countries is aimed at understanding the state of the modern business and how leaders are preparing for long-term success in a post-pandemic world.

 The research shows Australian enterprises are being hampered by a systemic gap that links corporate strategy to execution excellence, with three essential interrelated areas that leaders must prioritise to create a resilient, future-ready enterprise:

1) Realising full value from accelerated technology- investment and adoption
2) managing the balance of reskilling and talent gaps to maximise technology investment
3) closing the gap on thought and action in the face of growing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges.

Economist Impact surveyed 2,000 senior executives in ten countries across North America and Europe, including 400 in Australia, to assess and compare their businesses across a range of metrics.

The research highlights include these insights:

  • Australian businesses lag in realising the potential value from technology investments due to gaps in business goals and tech strategies. Australia ranks below the global average in terms of technology and innovative ability due to failure in linking tech investments to overarching business goals and clear metrics and prioritise data-driven and tech implementation strategies.   
  • Lack of digital-focus leaves Australia behind. 70% of Australian organisations do not consider a digital-first business model to be business critical, compared to the average of 62% globally.  
  • Workforce and talent management strategies need a major overhaul reskill workforces to address productivity gaps. 90% of Australian businesses are unaware if they have access to the talent they need to implement and utilise advanced technologies (low code/no code, advanced cloud), nearly half (49%) claimed they are not achieving greater workforce productivity in spite of technology investments.  
  • Business resilience is at risk for companies that recognise ESG as a critical consideration but fail to take action to integrate ESG throughout the organisation. 85% of decision-makers recognise ESG issues are important aspects of being a modern business. However, there is a massive disconnect between intent and action, with only 31% having dedicated staff and resources devoted to ESG, and only 38% in Australia incorporating ESG into company strategy. 

"After analysing the findings, we can see that business leaders in Australia face major challenges in becoming a modern future-ready business," says George Evans, head of consulting at Cognizant in Australia and New Zealand.

"Businesses will need to modernise business operations and evolve their business models as well as their technology. They also need to overcome the talent challenge to ensure they can unlock true value from their tech investments in terms of productivity. We believe this also means there is a real opportunity around ESG to create significant business value if businesses align their priorities," he says.

"Many businesses today are struggling to prepare for next month, let alone years from now," says Charles Ross, principal, policy - insights at Economist Impact Australia.

"Firms genuinely embedding principles of future-readiness from our Future-Ready Business Benchmark into their operational realities will maintain and grow their competitive advantage," he says.

"Our data validated the fact that it is particularly challenging to make progress on the matter when juggling a vast array of often competing priorities. Our guidance is to start where the gaps are most significant and dial up the focus on people; the benchmark offers tangible calls to action for businesses across countries and industries. A failure to embrace the volatility that is here to stay, and prioritise business plans and investments accordingly, puts your business at the risk of losing relevance."