A recent report by IDC has highlighted that the software market in the Australia and New Zealand region has grown by 17.5% in 2021, up from 8.5% in 2020. This remarkable growth has been attributed to increasing digital adoption and prioritization of digital transformation by businesses across the region. As we are all aware, the pandemic disrupted businesses and lives across the globe making enterprises revisit their operating models and business strategies. On the flip side though, it has also accelerated digital transformation considerably. Quoting a global survey here- 76% of Australian business leaders have responded saying that the pandemic did speed up the digital transformation in their enterprises by “a great deal.”
Digital transformation: Turning challenges into opportunities
With operating models seeing rapid changes and technological innovations changing the playing field regularly, the digital agenda can no longer be pushed to the backburner. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data and Analytics, automation, and cloud computing are enabling businesses to embark on their digital journey, like never seen before. And hence, this is the time for enterprises to truly transform their operations to build, optimize, and be a part of the ever-evolving digital economy.
However, it is important to realize that digital transformation is a journey and not a destination. And enterprises must consider several factors when planning this journey. First and foremost, enterprises must take stock of their existing situation and revisit their business objectives to analyze the scope and the coverage of digital transformation. Many organizations rush their digital transformation initiatives and then fail to make good on them due to gaps between planning and execution. Therefore, it is important for enterprises to have a robust digital strategy in place that is aligned with their short- and long-term business goals.
Both Public and Private organizations stand to gain a lot through digital transformation, such as obvious benefits around cost and resource efficiency, increased productivity and profitability, and improved scalability, flexibility, and agility. Additionally, a digital-first organization can radically enhance customer or citizen experience and improve customer loyalty and citizen outcomes.
Digital economy: Shaping the future of businesses and societies
While digital transformation is a business imperative for enterprises, it is also a critical contributor to a holistic digital economy. Governments are also playing a proactive role to expedite digitization. They have been able to effectively disengage from a traditional governance model to digital governance by revamping policies aligned with the digital era and encouraging enterprises to prioritize digital transformation. They have also recognized that digital acceleration is the post-pandemic new reality that will deliver enhanced citizen and workforce experiences.
Some of the key determinants of a robust digital economy are strong antitrust laws, regulatory regimes, competition and tax policies, innovation-led digital infrastructure upgrades, skill development, and social welfare strategies. Similarly, there must be policies around data regulation, cybersecurity, sustainability, and governance. Even when it comes to technology, governments and regulatory bodies must ensure their ethical use and democratization to build a truly inclusive digital economy. While we certainly understand that there are multiple challenges in the path to achieving a full-fledged digital economy, addressing these challenges will have a profound impact on transforming how we as individuals behave, engage with, and consume digital services.
Recently, the Australian government published its Digital Economy Strategy, which lays down the various plans to make the country’s economy more digitally sound and its society more prosperous by 2030. In that pursuit, the government has lined up a strategic investment of $1.2 billion in the 2021-22 budget. This investment is aimed at building a strong foundation for the digital economy, upskilling the workforce to develop capabilities in emerging technologies, and setting digital growth priorities.
One of the challenges that have been stifling both Australia’s and New Zealand’s digital progress is the lack of availability and support in the development of key digital technology skills. With extra focus on building digital infrastructure and services, the demand for additional technology workers has reached an all-time high. And, as the growth of the technology workforce continues, the need for the right digital skills and capabilities to meet these demands is also rising. With further impetus from governments towards addressing these challenges on the way, the technology workforce is expected to grow over the next few years to take the digital economy strategy of the region to new heights. In fact, according to a new report by Deloitte, Australia’s digital economy will need to be supported by a technology workforce of over 1 million by 2026.
So, with the rising demands of digitally skilled talent pool and Australia pushing for a self-reliant, technology-empowered workforce, HCLTech Tech is playing its part through its fully sponsored training program TechBee. This program aims at training the available talent pool- fresh out of school graduates on in-demand technologies and transforming them into skilled IT professionals with the exposure of working with global clients of HCLTech Tech. As the skill requirements in the market are evolving, the TechBee program not only helps students start their career early but also ensures ample learning and growth in their career.
Through outcome-oriented mentoring and training, and first-hand work experience, this 12-month program trains the candidates on the latest technologies and skills required to work in IT. In addition to this, the biggest advantage is that this program allows students to continue their higher studies while they are working with HCLTech Tech, and financially supports them in obtaining their bachelor's degree from any of our partner universities. Since starting the TechBee program in 2021, we already have 109 candidates with us; and in 2022, we aim to take in more than 1,000 candidates to further strengthen the workforce.
The TechBee program is only one of our ANZ-specific initiatives. In time, we truly believe that our solutions and offerings will help shape the digital economy and the social paradigms of Australia and New Zealand.
Change management: Driving the cultural, technological, and operational evolution
A bevy of technological innovations will undoubtedly fuel digital transformation in the future. But managing the change intelligently will ultimately determine the overall success of both the initiatives that governments are taking and their quest to build a digital economy. Enterprises must leverage the technological advancements in the fields of omnichannel commerce, AI/ML, automation, cloud computing, and information security to enhance customer experience, gain data-driven insights, improve collaboration, and build a frictionless digital culture. Currently, organizations in Australia and New Zealand are prioritizing outcome-oriented operating models, AI-assisted and cloud-linked governance services, cybersecurity, connectivity, and sustainability.
Change management starts at the top and percolates through the labyrinths of an organization. Hence, a good change management strategy should begin with building a transformation office that has representations from across the teams. This cross-functional team, headed by the Chief Transformation Officer, is responsible for a disruption-free transition, regular and effective communication, an iterative approach to the changes, breaking down silos, measurement of progress, and course correction, if necessary.
With so many facets to transformation and the digital economy at large, the government should continue to consider partnering with technology partners who can steer their digital journey seamlessly and successfully. Such partners can help enterprises across all steps of the way and expedite the delivery of outcomes. Private organizations like HCLTech come with a whole host of capabilities around digital transformation and unique expertise in digital consulting, AI/ML, cloud enablement, and DevSecOps which helps enterprises improve their digital capabilities and transition their operations quickly and easily at reduced risk. Our comprehensive partner ecosystem, innovation-mindedness, and geographical outreach make us a partner of choice for numerous corporations and enterprises around the world.