Australia's private market is more globally connected than ever before; a report released by Deloitte Private shows that 94% of Australian private companies have revenue from outside the country and 27% expect this revenue to rise in the future. So while Australian companies are confident and the outlook is positive, there are still tough questions to ask and actions to take, especially when it comes to trends surrounding technology and people.
If you want your business to gain a competitive edge, these insights from Deloitte Private's Global perspectives for private companies could help:
According to the report, over half of Australian private businesses are already planning to invest in cloud computing and 40% plan to invest in data analytics and business intelligence. And that's no surprise, according to Andrew Culley, Deloitte Private Commercial Advisory Partner, who says companies need to increase their investment in technology because it's going to play a greater role in shaping business models, including facilitating growth, reducing capital costs and managing employees.
The high rate of technology adoption by consumers [is] a factor to consider for businesses, especially those who are customer-facing," says Culley.
"Investing in these technologies is complex. It requires a significant change in capability from what tends to exist in private business today. That's why software as a service (SaaS) is so attractive; it means companies can now upgrade technology without the scale of investment previously required."
Yes, purchasing these technologies will involve costs upfront, but if done properly, the benefits should be able to be realised quickly. If applied at scale, the costs of upfront adoption, transformation and ongoing maintenance of SaaS can be greatly reduced.
The cloud and data analytics are already fundamental to a successful business. But there is increasing interest in niche technologies such as augmented reality, with some 26% of companies planning to invest in exciting new technologies such as virtual reality and the internet of things (IoT) and 18% preparing to invest in robotics.
Culley says the interest in these more niche technologies is encouraging with their potential for companies across all sectors yet to be revealed. However regardless of whether they're starting with big data or looking at other options, businesses should be aware of what the strategic drivers are for adopting any new technology.
There should be careful management of these investments that is aligned to the strategy because no matter the potential, if a technology isn't properly rolled out and implemented, it could become a "lame duck" investment.
Michael Clarke, Deloitte Private's Chief Strategy Officer, says that if increased investments in technologies such as cloud and analytics are paying off, companies will be able to better manage growth by automating some processes and augmenting their workforces with technology.
"Business leaders are taking advantage of automation, cloud and analytics to maximise their resources. But they are also recognising the importance of holding onto engaged and highly skilled employees to carry out higher value work." he says.
Most businesses are people businesses – without the right talent, you'll struggle to succeed.Clarke says it's important to have an effective employee value proposition that goes beyond remuneration, as employees are also seeking career growth, opportunity, purpose and training from their jobs.
Even natural leaders need investment and training to develop the agility, flexibility and knowledge to cope and thrive in an era of rapid change and technological transformation.
Understand the many advantages you can offer your staff, including broader opportunities for those who seek all-round roles, more access to senior leaders, owners and founders and a genuine sense of making a difference.
Read more insights and findings from the "Global perspectives for private companies" report.
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