Optus – Future of business report research and findings

Welcome to the 2012 Optus Future of Business Report. Based on interviews with more than 500 IT, finance and marketing decision-makers in government and private sector organisations, this report analyses how digital technologies are transforming Australian business and service models.

In particular, the research uncovers the factors that drive organisations to apply these technologies to become more responsive to customers, and operate in a more agile and cost-effective fashion.

It also studies the extent to which IT, finance and marketing decisionmakers understand their roles in implementing digital strategies at their organisations.

 The Research and Findings are presented here and Deloitte Access Economics has prepared a companion Analysis and Insights report to place these outcomes into context. Deloitte Access Economics has reviewed the broader economic conditions in which the changes have occurred and the preparedness of business to meet the resulting challenges.

 Optus Business commissioned these reports for two reasons. First, our customers are telling us how digital technologies and changing customer expectations are driving them to find new ways of interacting. We wanted to move beyond these anecdotes to build an accurate picture of how organisations are using new technologies to remain relevant to customers that are wedded to their smartphones and tablets.

The second reason for preparing this research was to revisit the findings of the 2011 Optus Future of Work Report to determine whether there had been any change in the momentum towards the mobile workplace. Last year, employers were planning to step up their financial and cultural investments in future modes of working; one year on, was the enthusiasm still there?

 The 2012 research found organisations were ramping up projects to offer online services such as purchasing and ordering, self-service tools, and billing and invoicing. To meet customer demand,  organisations were making these services easily accessible from mobile devices.

 Organisations were also supporting these activities online by offering new payment services, and investing in social media to build communities and stay close to customers. They were using cloud services to improve the agility and cost-effectiveness of the infrastructure supporting online and mobile services. And they were using internal collaboration tools to improve the speed and efficiency of decision-making.

However, there was a fly in the ointment; our research showed IT, finance and marketing decision-makers were not always on the same page when it came to leading and executing digital strategies. At Optus Business, we believe these disconnects can compromise an organisation’s ability to meet customer expectations around digital services and ultimately see the organisation cede ground to competitors.

Our 2012 research also found that many of the trends identified last year were continuing: organisations kept on rolling out tablets and smartphones to more employees and were opening the corporate network to personal devices.

 However, the bring-your-own-device trend had possibly started to affect organisations’ medium-term plans; in particular many appeared to be winding back their intention to issue smartphones to employees within three to five years.

 The research also underlined the fact that the impact of digital technologies and services varied considerably by industry. For example, the retail and entertainment sectors need to use these services and technologies to remain competitive against global rivals. And government organisations were applying technologies to provide services to individuals and businesses more efficiently and cost-effectively.

We recognise that many organisations understand the importance of providing digital applications and services to meet customer expectations.

 By engaging Deloitte Access Economics to apply a broader perspective to the research findings, we hope to make easier your decisions about where to direct your organisation’s digital investments. Please consider how you can apply the insights contained in these reports to your own organisation. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, and look forward to discussing the Future of Business with you.

John Paitaridis

Managing Director, Optus Business

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