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Research Shows Hard Work Ahead For NZ Business To Digitally Transform As COVID-19 Shocks Continue

All organisations surveyed in New Zealand say digital transformation is a priority, however;

59% of organisations lack a strategy to develop digital talents

58% do not have a centralised budget for digital transformation

Only 3% are digitally agile, meaning they are able to adapt to changing circumstances quickly and effectively

A new study has shown the urgent need for New Zealand organisations to focus on digital transformation so they are able to adapt and change quickly in the increasingly uncertain era of Covid-19.

The study, titled the Workday Digital Agility Index, was conducted by Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance, in partnership with IDC, a global technology market intelligence company.

In June and July, it surveyed nearly 900 senior business leaders and C-suite executives in HR, finance and IT across nine markets in Asia Pacific, including 90 interviewees in New Zealand.

The findings provide a comprehensive analysis of digital agility in organisations. In New Zealand they show 59% of organisations don’t have a strategy to develop their digital talents and 58% don’t have a dedicated budget for digital transformation.

It also concluded just 37% of organisations have embedded a digital way of working across the entire enterprise and 61% still feel they are on the journey to evolve into a digital business and operating model.

The research also shows that 46% of organisations have accelerated their digital transformation, yet 32% have slowed down.

New Zealand Digital Agility

In regards to digital agility, whereby an organisation is operating on a single autonomous digital platform fuelled by shared data and intelligence, only 3% of New Zealand organisations are digitally agile. New Zealand organisations are least agile in the areas of process and governance, followed by technology.

Another aspect it revealed is a lack of technology coordination, with 73% saying they have finance and HR processes that are not fully aligned or in sync, and 59% not operating over a single enterprise wide technology platform.

Digital Skills Shortage

A short-fall of digital skills has proven to be a significant barrier for organisations in faring better with digital agility amid COVID-19. For 62% of New Zealand organisations, less than half of all employees are equipped with digital skills.

Stephen Jack, Managing Director and Vice President for Workday Australia and New Zealand said:

“These results all point to the fact that organisations need to make sure they are better prepared to deal with increasingly unpredictable circumstances.

“When speed and agility have never been more critical as we've entered another lockdown, the research shows more than 50% of New Zealand organisations were not able to adapt their business processes in response to COVID-19 and struggled to change financial plans, budgets and organisational structures.

“Reallocating budget and shifting people quickly are critical in crisis circumstances and it’s not happening as well as it should.

“The research provides surprisingly strong evidence for business leaders to use to ask critical questions about organisational agility and how they can rapidly respond to change. With the right technology backbone and insights, organisations can make strategic and informed decisions to mitigate business risk, take advantage of opportunities, and plan for the future.

“I hope this study will encourage more leaders to think seriously about how they approach digital transformation and invest to emerge as stronger, more resilient organisations.”

Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Associate Vice President & Head Digital Transformation, Future Enterprise & SMB, IDC Asia/Pacific, said:

“The survey findings are aligned with IDC's research around digital transformation and the impact of COVID-19 on Asia Pacific organisations.

“Digital transformation is no longer an option, it's a matter of survival. This crisis has not only brought about new challenges, but it has also intensified existing inefficiencies, and highlighted the need for organisations to focus on becoming agile and adaptable. Those organisations that see the crisis as an opportunity to transform and accelerate the digitalisation of their businesses will emerge stronger and more relevant in the future.”

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