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Investing in technology to gain a competitive edge

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Investing in technology to gain a competitive edge

The growing abundance of new technologies available to businesses is allowing smaller players to disrupt the established market leaders.

So, how are Australian businesses investing in technology to give them an edge in local and global markets? I explore the weapons available to smaller businesses through business intelligence and data.

Take the transport industry, for example. Taxi companies are under threat from a range of new technology-based start-ups that are sure to capture a huge piece of their market share in the coming years. The financial services sector is another industry feeling the pressure from smaller players, with a range of nimble, tech-based start-ups eating away at the payments sector in particular. In fact, no industry is currently immune from the threat of digital disruption.

Accenture, a professional services firm, recently conducted research on how Australian companies are using business analytics and big data to their advantage. The research generated some fascinating insights, providing Australian business’ leaders perceptions of the value of their investment into big data.

Here are some of the key findings on how Australian organisations are using data to benefit their business and gain a competitive advantage:

  • 56 per cent of organisations said they were using the insights big data delivers to identify new sources of revenue
  • 80 per cent are using big data to retain and acquire customers
  • 50 per cent are using big data to develop new products and services.

According to the study, Australian executives who dedicate resources to a big data strategy have evidently identified the importance of this approach:

  • 78 per cent of the executives surveyed were either satisfied or very satisfied with the way big data can be applied to their business
  • 70 per cent said big data is important or very important to the digital transformation process of their business.

The research also called out something that I believe strongly in – the need to build data into the organisation’s customer engagement strategy. The idea is to analyse how to collect better, richer customer insights and then put in place a program to be able to act on this intelligence, to deliver better products and services that more closely match customer needs.

These survey findings highlight that Australian corporations are leveraging technology investments to unlock the value of data assets in their operations. It is a critical requirement for any business looking to disrupt the market, and thrive.

There’s a real opportunity for executives to enhance their knowledge of business data and the value it can bring to their operations. Utilising data is one of the most important tools available to a business to enable it to be placed right at the forefront of its industry sector, positioning the company as a true leader in its field. The key is also putting this information in the hands of those who can act. So the question remains, will your business invest?

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