How do you reduce manual effort in your back office functions? How do you ensure consistent data is available throughout the business to provide the right insight for decision making? How do you reduce costs, while delivering these processes as efficiently and effectively as possible?

The answer to all these questions is Digitisation

We’re living through the fourth industrial revolution. The first was the steam engine, the second was electricity, the third was the computer and the fourth is big data and artificial intelligence.

Dr Ben Fahimnia( Professor Of University of Sydney) asserts that Australia needs to take advantage of the multiple opportunities afforded by digital technologies in order to boost the country’s productivity and be able to compete on a global scale.

Australia has seen a productivity slowdown since 2010 compared to the previous decade and we are falling behind many other countries in the adoption of digital technologies, despite many digitalisation initiatives undertaken by firms and governments.

Digitalisation has already influenced almost every aspect of our lives. Consumers use smart devices to research what they buy and to compare their choices. Firms, governments and public organisations cluster and utilise digital data for more informed decision making. However, no organisation is yet at the forefront of digital innovation.

According to the research article by University of Sydney the main reason why Australia has been slow in digital transformation is the lack of coordination and collaboration amongst firms, governments and research institutions.

Based on a study by PWC, embracing digitisation can have the following impact to the Australian economy in future:-

We are already seeing a wave of digitsation in our country(data based on a report by PWC):-

Speed and sophistication of digitisation is on the rise – Google spends $4b on next wave of digitisation (machine learning and internet of things)

Data is increasing in value – Climate Corporation uses a global network of sensors and predictive analytics to provide insurance

Consumers are more digitally savvy – 53% of Australians would see their doctor through a smartphone or computer

Tap into the crowd – 40% of Australians would use crowdfunding options to lend their own money

Social platforms are driving the world – 49% of Australians have interacted at least once with a company over social media in the last 6 months

Your competitors are no longer just down the road – In just 5 years, Airbnb has become a disruptive force in the accommodation market with 11m users

Traditional business models are antiquated – Simple has processed $1b in transactions by disrupting banking with a compelling customer experience

Productivity and efficiency impacting jobs – 47% of US jobs are under threat of digitisation with 20% represented by knowledge workers

So what’s happening in Australia?

A survey of more than 1000 Australians conducted on behalf of NBN Co, has revealed close to half (49%) of respondents had increased their online shopping during the pandemic shutdown period and 70% are consciously supporting local businesses online.

But more than two thirds of respondents said even though they would like to support more local businesses, they were restricted by the limited digital presence of those businesses.

Digitisation is now essential for a business to be truly competitive

PwC modelling estimates businesses could unlock more than $49 billion of private sector output over a decade by adopting better use of mobile and internet technologies.

Businesses in Australia can start digitisation in house and numerous cloud-based technologies can help it succeed. Cloud-based solutions can help with everything from recruiting, marketing, sales, expense management, data management, accounting and more.

expense management is an area that can be quickly digitised, reaping many benefits:-

* No more paper work, filing expenses on the go is easy
* Eliminates manual errors and provides for the checks and balances.
* They are integrated to the ecosystem- google maps, ERPs, TMCs so it’s not a one stop solution.
* Approvals and verifications are all on the go and digital saving invaluable manhours for the higher management.
* Frauds control improved since the smart systems catch duplicates.
* Compliance proof audit trails on the click of a button.
* Reports on-demand ensures high transparency and intelligent analytics at the click of a button.
* Today’s generation love it because it’s mobile and saves them time.
* Company’s cashflow can be manged in an efficient way.
* Tax filing is not a big challenge with the data with a click.

If this is not the right time to go digital then when will it ever be?