One in four Australian organisations can’t find the necessary talent to implement their data solutions, significantly more than the global average, according to research from Accenture released today.

Local companies have told Accenture the talent drought is holding back automation and agile work practices, with less than one in 20 reporting to have scaled either to operational levels.

The consultants polled 1,100 executives around the world, including 125 in Australia, on their development of business operations during the last 3 years. Australian organisations are falling behind in several key areas, according to Accenture.

Accenture’s Fast-track to future ready performance report claims the increased digitisation and agile ways of working spurred by the pandemic could drive $5.4 trillion of economic growth if applied more broadly.

But Australia may miss out because of its dearth of digital skills.

According to the report, 26.4 per cent of Australian organisations see Talent as the top challenge to their implementation of data solutions over the past three years, compared to only 17 per cent of companies globally.

Australian organisations also lag in leading practices, data, and automation, with talent also sighted as a top challenge.

Today only five per cent of Australian organisations have implemented an agile workforce strategy at scale, and just two per cent of local organisations have scaled automation solutions.

Leaders cash in during disruption

Accenture identified a small group of organisations – around seven per cent globally but only five per cent in Australia –  that have taken advantage of data and automation to operate nearly twice as efficiently and three times more profitably than their peers.

In a rare bright spot for Australia in the report, many local organisations appear poised to transform into these “future ready” organisations in the next three years. Accenture is predicting the five per cent of Australian “future ready” organisations will grow seven fold to 35 per cent by 2023.

“Future-ready organisations know that it’s about maximising talent in an era when people are critical to success,” said Jordan Griffiths, Accenture operations lead for Australia and New Zealand. 

“This talent has new skills – they are customer obsessed, understand the importance of data and process and are familiar with new AI and automation tools enabled by cloud. People will be at the heart of retooling operating models in ways that capitalise on new innovations and new ways people work to drive business performance.”

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