EY's Digital Australia: State of the Nation 2014 report surveyed 167 of Australia’s “digital opinion leaders” comparing views on Australia’s digital status compared to its global competitors, the best and worst sectors online, smartphone and tablet use and behaviour, and social media.
Digital opinion leaders were self-selected after being invited to participate in the survey by EY and The Digital Industry Association of Australia. These individuals met specific criteria, including being in senior management and directly responsible for digital strategy in their organisations, and represent leaders from both the private and public sectors.
The digital opinion leaders surveyed for the report indicate the picture for Australia is bleak, with 59 per cent agreeing we are trailing our global peers while nearly half cite a lack of investment by organisations in digital as a “major concern”. Sixty-seven per cent claim we are in danger of being left behind as a result of government policy on digital.
EY Customer Leader Jenny Young said the research clearly points to two key areas in which the Australian digital economy requires swift action:
• Addressing and moving beyond ‘business-as-usual’ online experiences, and
• Driving stronger and more competitive market conditions for consumers and business
“Australians want their government to get involved in issues of data privacy, and to continue building infrastructure such as the NBN. But having the right infrastructure is a foundation step in securing Australia’s digital future and should not be seen as the panacea," Ms Young said.
“We need to fast-track work already being done to improve online cost, speed and access. Government has a critical role to play in driving new policy and investment, and [in] creating a national culture of innovation. But the onus is also on industry to drive competition and innovation while elevating customer experience in digital,” she said.
EY technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications leader David McGregor said for Australian businesses that are not nimble enough to respond to a rapidly-changing consumer landscape, significant transformation is now needed for their business models to be able to evolve and adapt.
“Digital should be part of a seamless multi-channel offering to meet customers’ 'anytime/anywhere' demands and [it should be] firmly integrated into business strategy," Ms Young said.
“The good news is that the transition is underway for many organisations, but there is hard work ahead for both industry and government if we are to shift the needle for Australia and become one of the top ten digital nations in the world,” Mr McGregor added.