Firms need ‘clear digital strategy’ to help drive innovation, says survey

Out-Law News | 15 Aug 2014 | 4:04 pm | 1 min. read

Businesses in a number of sectors across the Asia Pacific region believe they will be “massively disrupted” in the next 12 months by digital technologies, according to a new survey.

Research and advisory firm Forrester surveyed companies in the media, telecommunications, transportation, healthcare, and banking and financial sectors for its report, ‘State of Digital Business in Asia Pacific in 2014’.

Forrester’s manager and research director for the Asia Pacific region Dane Anderson said in an interview with ZD Net that the survey indicated one of the biggest challenges facing organisations is the “lack of proper organisational structures and therefore an unclear digital strategy”.

Anderson said: "This is mainly because many want to ignore the changes that are taking place, but then there are others who say they know what it is, but they really don't know what it is. We refer to that as a 'bolt on' digital strategy where some executives will believe they are pushing a digital strategy but it's just really lip service, and they're not driving it through the business."

Anderson said chief information officers (CIOs) “used to say they needed a seat at the board to drive ideas, but the smart ones have figured out they don’t necessarily need to do that... instead they've created the best relationship with business leaders, and from there they develop innovative strategies together and find the budget for it”.

According to Anderson Australia, compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific region, “is leading by example, particularly within the financial sector”. Anderson said the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was an example of a company “that has transformed its IT backend by embracing cloud computing, which has helped cut IT spend in half”.

"I think Australian companies have been quite innovative and progressive in this regard," Anderson said, according to the ZD Net report. "Australia is good at being a fast follower. There is something inherent in the companies here that sometimes they're reluctant to take that first step, but once they see it working in other markets they move and end by passing the other market."

A recent survey of business executives by consultancy firm Accenture said that 42% expected “the biggest barrier to implementing digital business initiatives will be managing change".