Kiwi companies need to get up to speed with digital before it’s too late, according to Element Digital Consulting founder Kevin Fitzsimons. The rate at which digital is being adopted across the globe means that soon, there will be no space for non-adoption businesses who aren’t integrating key concepts, such as big data, cyber-security, social, mobility and the cloud.
“The world has changed. There are very definite economic arguments for businesses to be digitally savvy. It’s a question of evolution – businesses must adapt or die.” declares Fitzsimons.
“You need to have a vision and you need to have a goal you are working towards, but you need to be flexible enough to adapt to an environment that is changing very quickly so you do need a plan”.
Fitzsimons has seen aspects of digital being introduced into the environment, such as social media, and what was initially thought to be a fad, quickly turned into an integral part of businesses, and those who didn’t get on board quickly got left behind.
“Some New Zealand businesses are doing digital well, but I think our geographical isolation means businesses sometimes do not feel the sense of urgency that businesses in other parts of the world are responding to,” explains Fitzsimons.
The move of American giant Amazon into Australia is a sign of what is to come and for New Zealand businesses to survive against such massive competition, they need to become digitally savvy.
In 2016, Qual IT conducted a survey of New Zealand IT leaders and their perceptions of digital which formed the basis for our report ‘Buzzword or benefit?’. What we found is that the large majority of organisations saw digital as a highly relevant, fundamentally disruptive concept for their organisation. Alongside this, we asked IT leaders how relevant different digital concepts were to their organisation. Cyber-security was overwhelmingly rated as the most relevant to organisations.
For this year’s report, ‘Building strong digital foundations’ we wanted to know if organisations were putting these concepts into practice, as opposed to simply recognising that they were relevant. The first step to implementation and integration is recognising that your organisation can benefit from the concept, but then steps and projects need to be undertaken to get the organisation up to scratch.
We found is that while digital relevancy ratings rose (showing that organisations are even more aware of how relevant digital is to their organisations compared to 12 months ago), the maturity ratings of the different digital concepts were quite poor; except for cyber-security, the concept rated as the most relevant.
This demonstrates that organisations have a way to go before they are what Fitzsimons calls “digital savvy”, something integral to helping them stand up against the strong oncoming competition.
We have just released the annual edition of the Digital Readiness Report, ‘Building strong digital foundations’ where we discuss IT leader’s perceptions of digital and some key digital concepts. We also uncover how deeply digital is embedded into New Zealand organisations.