Being too late in digital more costly than being too early: Deloitte Telstra joint report

Good timing is critical when it comes to allocating resources for effective digital transformations, according to a recent report co-authored by Telstra and Deloitte.

Co-author of the Taking Leadership in a Digital Economy report and Deloitte digital partner, Steve Hallam, said organisations set to win in the digital economy share five characteristics: new business models, great customer service, competitive intelligence, agility and speed, as well as talent.

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"And one thing is certain - being too late is more costly than being too early and it's not about what you own, but what you do," he said.

Deloitte forecasted the direct contribution of the Internet to the Australian economy to be $70 billion in 2016, growing about seven per cent each year over the next four years.

Head of Telstra Digital, Gerd Schenkel, who co- authored the report, claimed that digital innovation including advances in computing, networks, devices and the capabilities they unleash like Cloud computing and data analytics, is a profound force in our economy.

He added that for businesses to differentiate those able to anticipate and be ready for digital disruption need to strengthen customer relationships, have the foresight to explore community forums, and adopt engagement tools like gamification, as well as collaborative consumption.

The report also outlined the danger of the 'skills drain'.

"In the digital economy, talent is even more important than in traditional sectors. Employees with experience in digital roles are often tempted by overseas technology hubs, making their retention an important goal," Schenkel said.

Hallam also attributed a recent Deloitte research paper, Digital Disruption: Short fuse, big bang?, which predicted the impact from digital technology to account for 32 per cent of the economy. The most significant digital disruptions were forecast to occur in ICT and media, the financial and professional services industries, retail, real estate, arts and recreation.

"In the digital economy, past competitors may also become future partners, and current customers may become future competitors. Traditional value chains that were held together by physical limitations dissolve and new, networked-based competition begins to form," he added.

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