Local research and advisory firm, ADAPT, has today announced its Digital Edge findings, distilled from the results of comprehensive surveys from 150 digital transformation leaders representing enterprise and government organisations responsible for 1/3 of Australia’s $1.8 trillion GDP, and over one million staff.

Jim Berry, CEO & Founder of ADAPT, says:

As our skills shortage bites and the reality of long-term hybrid work sets in, organisations have been driven to rethink the way they attract and retain top talent.

Digital transformation initiatives focusing on both staff and customers are well underway, but cultural and technical barriers are still problematic. IT leaders need more support from their executive teams to ensure the organisations they represent stay competitive in a digital economy.


Key investment priorities

Digital leaders quoted data analytics, people, change management, and emerging technologies as key pillars of their investment mix over the next 12 months. Listed are the top five investment priorities noted by digital leaders: Data analytics (61% of respondents), training & upskilling (59%), hybrid work enablement (55%), change management (55%) and AI (54%).

A highly concentrated list of digital investment priorities shows decision-makers are more aligned than ever amid huge change, but with over 55% of IT leaders still citing collaboration issues as a barrier to transformation, working out exactly how these initiatives should be implemented across some of Australia’s largest and most complex organisations remains an ongoing question for many.”


Challenges to employee experience

Digital leaders quoted the following challenges to employee experience: Difficulty making changes to work methods (70%), inability to make data-driven decisions (66%), waiting on others to provide approvals (61%), difficulty accessing the right information (47%), inability to move away from “traditional”, non-scalable communication (e.g. e-mail) (41%) and increasing “digital burnout” (39%).

Employees are frustrated by a range of digital experiences at work, and organisations are responding by investing in hybrid work platforms to provide an equitable employee experience regardless of their employee’s location. We can expect this trend to continue as Australian organisations digitise further.”


Major Australian organisations remain under-digitised

ADAPT identified 11 key business areas capable of full digitisation, and found that despite tremendous change brought on by the pandemic, rates of digitisation across most including the marketing, product management, procurement and resource planning functions remain under 50%.

Under-digitised organisations give their competition a head-start in almost every aspect of operation and crucially, remain wide-open to fast-evolving cyber threats”.

However, by leveraging well-known SaaS offerings, finance, sales and customer service departments have all enjoyed rates of digitisation over 50%.

In response to the unprecedented change in the customer landscape, front-of-house operations have been the first areas earmarked for fresh investment.

However, Boards still present hurdles for final budget approval, as IT leaders scramble to develop business-cases for digital investment to execs often lacking tech literacy.”


What Australia’s most digitised organisations do differently

The top 5% most digitally capable firms all shared a greater focus on attracting & retaining talent through investing in digital employee experiences. Each member of the top 5% also showed more interest in customer-centricity, investing in better customer experiences across digital platforms:

As customers flock to new platforms, the most agile performers have raced to meet them where they prefer to do business, but the success of new initiatives depends largely on the availability of quality data.

To remain competitive, digital leaders should be spearheading data-improvement initiatives to empower the entire organisation with the chance to contribute to great customer outcomes.


About the Digital Edge findings

ADAPT distilled findings sourced from a comprehensive survey of 150 Australian digital leaders from 11 industry sectors, who discussed in detail their digital transformation experiences and priorities for the 12 months ahead.



For 10 years, ADAPT Ventures has connected and equipped Australian and New Zealand executives with the knowledge, relationships, inspiration and tools they need to become more commercially competitive for our collective good, and for that of future generations. For more information, visit www.adapt.com.au.

Media Contact media@adapt.com.au