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In search of digital business

By Stern Curator on 10/05/16 11:47 AM


In a survey taken by Gartner in October of this year, of more than 2,900 CIO’s on the topics of platform thinking and digital transformation, their findings were that “More than half of Australian and New Zealand CIOs are leaders of digital transformation in their enterprise.” With that being said, this has surely got to be good news for most CIOs.

As with good news there tends to be the opposite and in this instance the bad news is that, progress of digital business within Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) is considerably slower than that of the global average. Gartner came to the above conclusion after surveying over 2,900 CIOs in 84 countries, 175 of the surveyed CIO’s came from Australia and New Zealand. 52 percent of ANZ CIOs were found to be leaders of digital transformation, and more than 40 percent also claimed to be leaders in innovation. These are significantly higher than the global averages of 40 percent for digital transformation and 30 percent for innovation.

According to Gartner’s vice president Graham Waller, “CIOs are being given the opportunity to lead digital transformation, but they must adapt their leadership style to exploit platform effects in leadership, building a network of digital leadership inside and outside the enterprise.” Waller is expressing the idea that in today’s business world, nothing is done without the use of technology and in order to digitally transform the business platform, CIO’s need to find a suitable way to integrate various technologies into the business mix and create a competitive platform that will ‘transform’ the way people do business.

But how exactly were the terms ‘digital’ and ‘non-digital’ differentiated in the survey? Gartner’s IT Glossary defines digital business as “the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds.” Whereas Gartner’s definition of digitalisation is “The use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.” If placed together these definitions create a powerful concept; that in order to create a digital platform the pierces the vail of the everyday market place, you need to be prepared to lead this digital revolution. 

The survey results show that opportunities to lead the digital revolution are being given to CIOs, however they are not adapting their style of leadership to suit the transformation. In fact only 9 percent of CIOs have adapted their leadership style to build and exploit digitalisation both inside and outside the organisation.

CIOs are predicting a rise in digital processes within the ANZ public sector from 38 to 79 percent (from 42 percent to 77 percent globally), and within the next five years CIOs in ANZ expects digital revenue to grow from 14 percent to 32, however globally speaking the revenues are expected to grow from 16 to 37.

With Mr. Waller stating that “digital business is a reality now, and it is expected to be a significant source of competitive advantage.” It is imperative that perhaps now is the time for a reimagined business platform that integrates more leadership in order to exploit the advantages and create a “power of platform” to information and technology and apply those platform dynamics to “create value in all aspects of the business.”

Managing Director of Lanrex an Outsourced IT Company Jodie Korber has said ‘The likely challenge will be in determining exactly what is needed to create wealth and revenue and how to push the boundaries and further engage with the marketplace, creating awareness of this new digital transformation. Digital transformation is essential and inevitable. In reality the idea that if organisations do not digitally transform their business platform there is a high chance that they are doomed to fail.’


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