Australian firms ‘need strategic digital leadership’


Poor strategic IT leadership could be hampering the success of Australian businesses, despite companies showing a keen eye for digital developments.

This is according to new research by Gartner, which showed just 1.8 per cent of organisations in the country have a chief digital officer, compared to the global average of 6.6 per cent.

The analyst firm surveyed chief information officers across Australia and found IT budgets are shrinking by 0.1 per cent nationwide, with 25 per cent of technology spending being carried out by departments other than IT.

Gartner said: “Most businesses have established IT leadership, strategy and governance, but have a vacuum when it comes to digital leadership.

“To exploit digital opportunities and ensure the core of IT services are ready, there must be clear digital leadership, strategy and governance.”

However, drawing together disparate departments to create a clear, focused strategy can be challenging, particularly when budgets and time are increasingly tight.

Investing in business strategy software can help overcome these problems, giving companies a way to communicate organisational strategies clearly, quickly and in a highly visual manner.

StrategyBlocks creates unique relationships between ideas, information and the people involved with bringing about change – all in a single cloud-based platform.

A number of sophisticated features facilitate strategic planning processes, allowing companies to measure, monitor and evaluate the ongoing success of schemes and initiatives.

The importance of this is underlined by Gartner Vice-President Andy Rowsell-Jones, who said formulating and following through with a new digital strategy is vital if businesses want to keep up to date with the latest trends. This is particularly true concerning the cloud, with only 43 per cent of businesses investing in software-as-a-service offerings, compared with 77 per cent worldwide.

“Renovate the core of IT. Prepare it to be digital-ready. This includes making investments in mobile in the shape of app development, and bring your own device (BYOD) support,” Mr Rowsell-Jones explained.

“Underpin this with investments to make sure the IT ‘engine room’ is also digital-ready.”