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Digital disruption lights fuses under Australian business

Private Matters, December 2012

Deloitte | Private MattersThere are significant digital threats and opportunities for both business and government according to the latest in the Deloitte ‘Lucky Country’ series. 

The new digital reality for Australia is the subject of a new report by Deloitte – Digital disruption – Short fuse, big bang?, the second in its series of papers on national issues, Building the Lucky Country – Business imperatives for a prosperous Australia.

Giam Swiegers, CEO, Deloitte Australia says the Lucky Country series is based on a clear premise. “The premise is that our country’s future prosperity will require sustainable sources of national wealth, visionary strategies that serve the interests of government and business, and agility in the execution of public policy and business opportunity.

“It is the quality of agility that we focus on in this second report of our series. To the CEO or government leader, there has not yet been a comprehensive attempt to meld the projected magnitude of disruption in various industry sectors with the likely timeline of this disruption.

“Nor, for that matter, has there been practical advice to leaders on how to pull together the right strategic responses.”

Mr Swiegers says Digital disruption – Short fuse, big bang? does address all three issues, as well as the greater meaning of digital in government and society.

In brief, the report categorises Australian industry sectors as:

Short fuse, big bang – industries expected to face both significant and imminent digital disruption include finance, retail trade, professional services, and information, media and telecommunications;
Long fuse, big bang – industries that can expect significant disruption, but over a longer timeframe, include those where government and large business play a greater role, such as education, health, transport and government services; and
Long fuse, smaller bang – industries that have lower levels of total digital potential and that can expect to see the least additional disruption compared to the changes of recent years, such as manufacturing and mining.

Digital economist and Deloitte Access Economics Director, Dr Ric Simes, says digital disruption exploded the status quo and presented unprecedented challenges, while creating a range of opportunities for the innovative.

“In Digital disruption – Short fuse, big bang? we present three primary responses, and actionable levers in each response, that leaders can consider: both to minimise threats posed by digital disruption and to maximise their organisation’s digital potential. It is about ensuring they are digital survivors,” Dr Simes says.

  1. Recalibrating cost structures – making changes in terms of people, supply chain and overheads to radically re-think costs and compete with digitally-powered, low-cost newcomers
  2. Replenishing revenue streams – building new sources of revenue across segments, geographies and business models as legacy streams dry up in the wake of digital disruption
  3. Reshaping corporate strategies – reconsidering assets, risk and corporate agility to position the organisation for success in the increasingly digital world.

CEO Giam Swiegers emphasises that mastering digital disruption is vital to Australia’s future prosperity.

“We have to use technology intelligently to get the most out of our people and our unique assets  ̶  certainly at Deloitte internal social media has been a powerful digital tool, driving collaboration and knowledge sharing,” he says.

“In the digital age, being prepared for the worst and being agile and ready for the best will determine our future. This is a big issue that requires big thinking; and Digital disruption – Short fuse, big bang? will enhance the capacity of business and public sectors and policy makers to act in the most timely and effective way.”

For further information please contact:

Ric Simes  
Corporate Finance
Tel: + 61 2 9322 7772  

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