Girl with smart watch showing hologram

The 'right time' is now

When something moves as fast as the world of digital technologies, there’s bound to be a degree of nervousness around uptake. You might worry if there’s ever a ‘right time’ to make your move but there’s a far stronger argument that the longer you delay your commitment to digital readiness, the more exposed you become to the threat of digital disruption.

Banking on ‘digital’?

Organisations want the value and usefulness of digitisation to be demonstrated before they make this change. It’s understandable that people want to know the benefits of any new approach or technology, even more so if it’s ‘digital’. Part of the problem is in the invisibility of digital technologies, as the lack of physicality and palpability makes it feel very ‘unknown’. For those trying to implement change, they believe it’s important to focus on the non-fiscal opportunities that digitisation represents, rather than think of it purely in terms of cost savings.

Banking on ‘digital’?

Distrust of digitisation

There was a strong sense from some of our clients that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. They have a fear that the rapid rate of change in technology means that even if you start upgrading your system, it’ll be too ‘old’ by the time you finish it. Their scepticism extends to the belief that investing in new digital technologies could lead to implementing the ‘wrong’ system or one that doesn’t work as well as the old methods.

Distrust of digitisation

In analogue we trust

Even though digital technologies were generally seen as collaboratively enabling on design projects or infrastructure management, there are still trust issues around sharing information between partners due to legacy contractual structures, IP concerns and data security.

In analogue we trust

Digital dependencies

Architects, contractors and clients all shared a fear about the power of software vendors. Knowing that you’re picking the right software for your needs is critical from a cost and operations perspective. There was a sense that if you implement the wrong system you often have to compromise activities to fit the software. The inability to change software without huge expenditure only compounds the risk and highlights the importance and pressure of getting the solution right in the first place.

Digital dependencies

The following sections give details of what we’ve learnt about digitisation and ‘digital’ from the interviews with our clients:

Digital possibilities

From the way we consume entertainment in our homes to how smart phones navigate us around the world, the way digitisation has changed people’s lives for the better is there for everyone to see. How you choose to harness this digital power in the future will be key to the success of your organisation.

Know your customer

By understanding how you can add digital value to your clients and customers, you can define your own digital strategy. Your organisation’s digital solutions will come about through a process of human-centred observation and engagement of your own customers’ needs.

It’s people, not tech

People are the agents of digital transformation. Without their input, nothing will change. When this digital change does happen, it will have a ripple effect throughout your organisation. Some people will, to continue with this same metaphorical theme, take to it like a duck to water, while others will feel like they’re sinking. With foresight, nobody will drown.

Our Digital Futures - start page

To better understand how we can help our clients take charge of their digital futures, we spoke at length to a broad group of professionals across many organisations, industries and countries and asked them to share their thoughts on how digital technologies would shape and change their organisations in the future.
Andrew Maher, Chief Digital Officer, Aurecon

Andrew Maher

Group Managing Principal, Eminence, Digital & Innovation
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