Digital transformation will add an estimated $45 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2021. That figure will continue to grow at 0.5 per cent annually, according to new report from Microsoft and IDC.

The report, Unlocking the economic impact of Digital Transformation in Australia examines the economic impact of revenue from digital products or services created directly through the use of technologies.

The economic benefits of digital transformation include increases in profit margin and productivity, as well as cost reduction and increased revenue from new products and services.

The research is based on a survey 1,560 business decision makers – including 100 in Australia – in mid and large-sized organisations across 15 economies in the Asia Pacific region.

Progress

The report identified two types of companies; 7 per cent are leaders and the other 93 per cent are followers. Leaders have comprehensive digital and data strategies in place and are set to reap the biggest rewards.

A lack of skills and a siloed culture the two most common challenges that organisations face when attempting to transform. A lack of advanced analytics to form actionable insights and a inadequate leadership were also cited as barriers to digital transformation.

Australian businesses are already using non-traditional KPIs to measure digital transformation outcomes including process/service effectiveness, customer advocacy and employee advocacy, according to the research.

Respondents plan to invest in core technologies like cloud (17.8 per cent), mobility (17.8 per cent), big data and analytics (16.9 per cent) to drive digital transformation. And almost 10 per cent plan to invest in AI, cognitive and robotics this year.

Unlocking the economic impact of Digital Transformation in Australia
Source: Unlocking the economic impact of Digital Transformation in Australia

Jobs

The report also discusses the wider societal impact of digital transformation, including the creation of higher value jobs.

Respondents in Australia believe that 83 per cent of jobs will be transformed in the next three years due to digital transformation, with 54 per cent redeployed to higher value roles or reskilled to meet the needs of the digital age. 29 per cent of jobs are expected to be outsourced, automated or made redundant. The remaining 17 per cent of jobs will be unchanged.

“The rise of digital transformation will no doubt affect the labour market where many jobs will evolve and change,” said Steven Worrall, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia.

“While it’s encouraging to see that 66 per cent of respondents are confident young professionals already have future-ready skills that will help them transition to new roles, organisations must focus on reskilling and upskilling those already in workforce who may not have the required skillset for the changing economy.”

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