Digital transformation delayed in NZ, says Microsoft

Microsoft says its survey of New Zealand business leaders shows the majority believing digital transformation should be a priority, but few doing anything about it.

Microsoft says its survey of New Zealand business leaders shows the majority believing digital transformation should be a priority, but few doing anything about it.

Microsoft surveyed 1,494 business leaders from the Asia Pacific, including 100 from New Zealand. It says all were pre-qualified as being involved in shaping their organisations’ digital strategy.

Three quarters of respondents agreed that they need to transform to a digital business to enable future growth and 88 percent agreed that new data insights could lead to new revenue streams for their organisations.

Yet Microsoft said it found digital transformation to be in its infancy in most respondent organisations. “Only 36 percent of business leaders have a full digital transformation strategy while 17 percent said they have very limited or no strategy in place at all,” Microsoft said.“Less than half (47 percent) of respondents are in progress with specific digital transformation initiatives for selected parts of their business.”

The managing director for Microsoft New Zealand, Barrie Sheers, said: “It’s concerning to see that while there is widespread acknowledgement on the need to transform, Kiwi businesses are doing so incrementally and not keeping pace with their regional counterparts.”

He called on business leaders “to rethink business models, uncover and use data insights and embrace a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes which create value in a new digital business.”

Microsoft said the study had identifed the top six barriers to digital transformation as being, in order of priority:

Lack of a digitally skilled workforce able to optimise digital businesses;

Lack of government policies and ICT infrastructure to provide a sound digital transformation platform for organisations;

Lack of a technology leader who is also business savvy;

Lack of organisational leadership to ideate, plan and execute digital transformation;

Tight regulations that limit ability to transform digitally;

No urgency or need to counter disruptors within the industry.

It added: “Along with the top six barriers, there is also a continued perception among business leaders that the cloud is less secure which is also potentially impacting on the uptake and speed of implementing a digital transformation strategy.”

Networks also holding back digital transformation

A survey undertaken across Australia and New Zealand last year by Tech Research Asia for Citrix identified inadequate network infrastructure as holding back digital transformation, and in particular organisations’ ability to take advantage of cloud services.

“Digital transformation is a priority for many businesses in Australia and New Zealand, and to deliver it cloud infrastructures have become an integral part of the business IT network,” Citrix said.

“With workloads and data increasingly being moved to cloud environments it’s critical organisations in Australia and New Zealand act now to ensure their networks can handle the growing demands being placed on them.”

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