Australian businesses must reap post-pandemic benefits in people and technology: Dr Ambika Zutshi

For a digital transformation to be truly successful organisations must take their people along the journey as well.

A new research project headed by Deakin University researchers along with Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) Global Research & Development program has pointed to a correlation between higher levels of data maturity and increased performance, regardless of the size, and type, or maturity of the organisation.

Associate Professors Ambika Zutshi, Lemai Nguyen and William Yeoh who work at Deakin Business School partnered with TCS to develop the “State of Data and Analytics in Australian Organisations” report.

Associate Professors Ambika Zutshi, Lemai Nguyen and William Yeoh from Deakin Business School

Dr Ambika Zutshi observes that their research identified that for “a digital transformation to be truly successful an organisation must take its people along the journey as well.” She adds:

“The people we spoke to in compiling this report emphasised the importance of finding a balance between the development of people, as well as technology, for holistic success in the different dimensions of digital.”

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The researchers used TCS Datom™ (Data and Analytics Target Operating Model) framework “as a guideline for participants to self-assess their respective organisational levels of data maturity.”

Further, Deakin researchers used a mixed-methods research approach consisting of:

  • a cross-sector online questionnaire survey completed by 138 participants representing Chief Information or Technology Officers (CIOs / CTOs), other executive positions, and senior and middle managers;
  • Eight (8) semi-structured interviews conducted with Executive managers, Directors, Heads, and senior managers; and
  • a workshop conducted with twelve (12) participants to discuss the preliminary survey findings.

Alfred Deakin Professor Mike Ewing, Executive Dean of Deakin’s Faculty of Business and Law (Deakin University)

Alfred Deakin Professor Mike Ewing, who is the Executive Dean of Deakin’s Faculty of Business and Law, said in a statement that their study showed every organisation was forced to become a digital organisation during the pandemic.

“The pandemic reinforced the role of data and analytics for business survivability and performance. The digital change that would have previously happened over a decade happened in one year.”

Prof. Ewing notes that their report can help guide business decision-makers on leveraging the best-practices of data and analytics to keep driving their digital transformation journey post-pandemic. he adds:

“Unleashing the true potential of data enables faster decision-making, better customer experience and reveals new revenue opportunities. It helps organisations develop stronger business models, adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics, and deliver highly personalised products and services.”

According to the report, the average score from participating organisations was around three. This indicates that Australian businesses are faring better than others surveyed by TCS globally, where the average score is below two.

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Further, more than 70 per cent of Australian participants said investment in data and analytics had increased during the pandemic.

Dinanath Kholkar, VP and Global Head, Analytics and Insights for TCS and Vikram Singh, Country Head for TCS Australia and New Zealand.

Dinanath Kholkar, VP and Global Head, Analytics and Insights for TCS says that business organisations must step up their game and “harness data from their ecosystem that includes their partners, suppliers, customers as well as open data to glean meaningful, actionable insights and foresights”. He adds:

“In a post-pandemic Next Normal, organisations must embrace digital transformation to stay relevant to their customers and drive growth at same time. Data being the DNA that guides this digital transformation, it has become a boardlevel agenda and a priority for CXOs.”

Vikram Singh, Country Head for TCS Australia and New Zealand, said “the increased adoption of digital transformation by Australian organisations meant that data and analytics had emerged as a critical element of supporting long-term business strategies.” He adds:

“Organisations that shift away from managing centralised data silos and connect data across their entire ecosystem will deliver the most impactful customer experiences.”

The report suggests that Australian businesses can grow data maturity in three important ways: “improve data literacy, evangelise data-centricity, and develop a holistic data strategy and roadmap.”

Data (Image source: Canva)

Australian organisations and educational institutions are working closely with their Indian partners such as TCS to fill the skills gap and innovate in emerging technologies to drive the future of global business.