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Chasing hard to keep pace with Kiwis' digital needs

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Digitisation is the biggest transforming trend impacting New Zealand business, yet PwC’s 6th Annual Digital IQ Survey suggests New Zealand companies’ technology investments may not be paying off.

The survey shows just one in five global business and IT executives truly understand what digital means for their business and how to use technology to advance their business goals, in an environment where the digital spend is increasing.

PwC Partner and Digital Market Leader Paul Brabin says, "With the worldwide IT spend predicted to grow by more than 3% this year, reaching NZ$4.4 trillion, it’s crucial businesses unlock the potential of their technology investments. Our study shows organisations that get it right will be twice as likely to be top performers in revenue growth, profitability and innovation. [1: Gartner Forecast Alert: IT Spending, Worldwide, 4Q13 Update, December 7, 2013.]

"Technology is a great enabler, and our ability to use it well is the greatest predictor of performance. Simply put, you can’t afford to underestimate digital if you want to stay in business today."

This finding is consistent with PwC’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey that shows how 91% of New Zealand CEOs believe technology will be the biggest transforming trend for their business over the next five years.

"Customer expectations and behaviour change are driving innovation, with successful businesses following fast and keeping pace with global trends. Customers today are just as likely to be influenced by what is being offered on the other side of the world as they are by competitors and technology innovations locally," says Mr Brabin. "It is obvious the world has changed: customers are dictating their terms of engagement with business more than ever before, and demanding a more personalised, responsive and engaging experience, which digital technology can provide.

"But how we use technology is everything. For example, what is the use of big data if you can’t understand it and it doesn’t give you any insight?" adds Mr Brabin.

Five behaviours have been identified through the study that will give companies an edge and enable them to maximise their use of technology across their business, contributing to a high ‘digital IQ’: they range from CEOs actively championing digital innovation to steer the firm’s vision; to ensuring the Chief Information Officer and Chief Marketing Officer have a strong relationship; in addition to leveraging internal sources and external intelligence to bring in new ideas; significant investment in disruptive technology and new IT platforms; and broadening the way of thinking about digital and considering it as something that should be woven throughout the business.

The bottom line is what matters more than where the specific skills or resources are located, is having a shared understanding of how it all fits together to accomplish the organisation’s goals, who is responsible for each aspect, and a way to keep everyone in the loop.

"The question business leaders need to ask themselves is how can they use technology to boost company performance, improve products and services, and disrupt their business models and the market before competitors? And even more importantly, use technology well," concludes Mr Brabin.

Paul Brabin is a PwC Partner and our firm’s Digital Market Leader.

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