Your Digital Decisions
Aurecon's Our Digital Futures - Your Digital Decisions

“Our Digital Futures has shown what the current market looks like and what the future could be. The next crucial step is understanding how we get there. Your Digital Decisions will help organisations recognise the key decisions that need to be made to set them up for future success.”

Dr Andrew Maher,
Chief Digital Officer, Aurecon

Linking people, processes, data and information, technology and physical assets

In forming or enhancing your digital strategy – no matter where you are on your digital journey, or what your role is – you can make digital decisions to achieve better outcomes for your organisation.

In this third and final instalment of Our Digital Futures – Your Digital Decisions – we focus on decision making – at both strategic and operational levels – to realise the possibilities of digital ways of working.

These decisions will drive a digital strategy that delivers business value and helps organisations thrive in the rapidly changing technological and economic landscape.

From understanding what digital decisions are, why they are important, and establishing an ideal decision making framework, we examine how organisations can take a deliberate step forward now.

In this report, we connect the findings to best-in-class case studies from our clients, outline the key challenges and opportunities around deliberate digital strategy market by market, and share next steps to help you map your digital future.

or explore the key insights below.

Jump to the following summaries on this page:

Digital strategy and making digital decisions

Digital strategy is about choice, vision and execution. It involves making complex digital decisions, ones that consider how digital technologies are impacting your organisation and how to apply digital technologies in response.

This includes choices about improving efficiency, creating new value, or helping understand external trends and their potential impacts on customers, products, services, organisations and broader industry dynamics.

The COVID-19 disruption caught many off guard – especially those with an inward focus and an imbalance of digital decision making across their organisation.

Why are digital decisions important?

In an increasingly complex, connected and uncertain world, it is critical for organisations to establish robust digital decision making frameworks and tools, which can better connect parts of their organisation, from digital elements on a project to incorporating digital ways of working to adapt to disruption.

Adopting the ideal framework for digital decisions helps organisations better balance their many (and often competing) priorities including creating efficiencies and reducing costs, maximising competitive advantage through speed or connection to customers, reshaping business and operating models, upskilling their workforce, and opening up pathways to discover different ways to create new value.

stopwatch

Efficiency

In increasingly competitive environments, using digital decision making approaches to drive efficiency and reduce costs is now just part of staying in the game.

Group

Workforce

Using digital tools and data to make digital decisions needs new skills and capabilities. Digital literacy is key, and the ‘people structure’ may need to change to support the aggregation and sharing of data and insights.

Arrow

Speed

More frequent or continuous customer connections and almost real-time insights enable organisations to act immediately, creating a new speed of competition for market activity.

dollar sign over hand

New value

As customers’ consumption patterns change, organisations need to know how things are evolving and how to manage assets differently to create new value.

business and operating models

Business and operating models

Digital technologies are driving business model innovation. Leaders must make decisions about how to evolve their business model and the physical and digital assets that support it.

How to get digital decisions right by adopting a holistic approach

As we highlighted in The Digital Landscape, many organisations lack well designed approaches to digital strategy and digital decision making.

Many take ad hoc approaches focused mainly on driving costs down. In doing so, they are failing to address some of the most critical challenges and opportunities that the digital economy presents.

But when organisations move to a more holistic approach they are better placed to realise all the possibilities created by digital ways of working, now and into the future.

A holistic digital approach should support business strategy and connect people, processes, data and information, technology and physical assets and embed insights from outside the organisation or industry.

Deep dive interviews indicated that many organisations are still inward-facing, making it a challenge to pre-empt and prepare their organisation for change.

Insights from the outside

It is critical that organisations are not just internally focused, and instead use data and insights from outside their organisation and industry.

Our research – a combination of online surveys and deep dive interviews with a wide range of professionals and specialist futurists from across the world – found that when it came to digital strategy there was a primarily inward focus for digital initiatives.

This results in many organisations being unable to anticipate change, impairing their ability to adapt to disruption and compete long-term.

Digital initiatives
Internal vs external focus (average)

Aurecon - Digital initiatives: internal vs external focus Aurecon - Digital initiatives: internal vs external focus

Our Digital Futures Research, 2019–2020

Using sophisticated approaches to data for more informed digital decisions

Data is a fundamental building block and business asset for decision making in the digital age.

It’s a key tool in driving efficiency, reinventing business models, upskilling the workforce, understanding the current and future landscape and identifying new revenue and investment opportunities.

It is the foundation of important technologies from artificial intelligence and machine learning to robotics and digital fabrication.

And it enables organisations to make swift and accurate decisions, from operation and maintenance, to informing an iterative digital strategy.

Our research shows a majority of organisations are collecting data and using it to inform operational, maintenance and strategic decisions to some degree.

However, many organisations continue to face challenges in understanding what to do with their data, where the real value is and how they should best integrate it into an overarching digital strategy that achieves ongoing value.

Many focus on optimising an existing state, rather than identifying changes in demand and needs over time, resulting in a struggle to move out of operations into the strategic space.

How to translate data-driven decisions into value

To overcome these challenges and materialise the significant opportunities that data can bring, data-driven decision making approaches must be carefully designed to address operational and behavioural changes, new hardware or software infrastructure and improvements in data literacy.

Careful design

When organisations design their decision making processes carefully and effectively (i.e. aligning to business value, connecting people, process, systems, assets) they can benefit from network effects, data flywheel effects and mature from descriptive to prescriptive analytics.

Operational and behavioural changes

Organisations need to ensure open movement, accessibility and sharing of data to make sure silos do not occur, and this can be a significant shift in the way some organisations operate and how their people behave.

Organisations also need to consider how these new behaviours are incentivised and whether existing business practices are contributing to inertia.

Better data literacy and new hardware or software infrastructure

The right infrastructure with the right security measures are critical, and organisations need to upskill staff and improve literacy around data capture, storage, sharing and use.

This will improve the overall quality of data and enhance people’s ability to make decisions based on it.

Organisations that invest in digital initiatives that are part of a well considered strategy are more effective at demonstrating future ROI.

Digital decisions to better manage physical assets

As we shift towards a more digital future, digitising assets and using digital tools to manage asset data is becoming a business imperative. Yet across industries there is uncertainty about the digital decisions that should be made to gain a clear view of assets and how to use that information in a meaningful way to achieve business value.

While many organisations have digital strategies for how they engage customers, or how they use digital platforms internally, as Our Digital Futures research revealed, most were yet to implement digital strategies that focus on their physical assets.

It is critical that asset intensive organisations have digital strategies that include their physical asset base – which are key enablers of their business and operating models.

Digital strategy implementation for physical assets
(those with a strategy for each stage)

Digital strategy implementation for physical assets - Aurecon Our Digital Futures Digital strategy implementation for physical assets - Aurecon Our Digital Futures

Our Digital Futures Research, 2019–2020

Evolving assets in an increasingly digital economy

In an ever-changing digital economy, it is inevitable that the design, make up and mix of physical assets will need to evolve, as will the digital decisions being made to support that evolution.

Already we are seeing data and technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, augmented reality and automation changing the game when it comes to the digital management of physical assets, and how we collect, analyse and visualise asset information.

Across the world we are seeing the combination of some of these technologies give rise to powerful digital twins, which more deeply link the physical and digital to help organisations transform insights into value.

These technologies make the physical world digitally visible. They enable proactive management of existing and new assets to make them more efficient and reliable. They provide connectivity, real-time visibility, a single source of truth and accountability.

Developing a digital view of assets is ultimately a risk mitigation strategy. With little information about what is happening across a network of assets, organisations may be unknowingly exposed to huge risk, even more so as the network ages.

Lack of information creates uncertainty, making effective decision making and risk taking unnecessarily challenging and stressful.

Aggregating and making sense of information to enable better informed decision making is where significant opportunity exists for many organisations.

Challenges and opportunities:
market by market

Throughout Our Digital Futures we have highlighted the key barriers and challenges organisations are facing around digitisation and the opportunities it presents – from improving digital literacy and owning digital strategy at senior levels, to embracing data and new technologies to improve asset and organisational performance, connect systems, upskill the workforce, and systematically anticipate change.

In this report, we highlight some of the key challenges around digital strategy and provide insights into the opportunities that deliberate and focused digital decision making can bring to your market.

Aviation - Aurecon

Aviation

Data & Telecommunications - Aurecon

Data & telecommunications

Defence & National security - Aurecon

Defence & national security

Education & research - Aurecon

Education & research

Energy - Aurecon

Energy

Health - Aurecon

Health

Property - Aurecon

Property

Resources - Aurecon

Resources

Transport - Aurecon

Transport

Water - Aurecon

Water

Click on the icons to learn more about your market.

Aurecon can help you make digital decisions with clarity and confidence

While digital decision making processes and capabilities offer significant value for organisations, they are complex and challenging for organisations to get right on their own.

Aurecon's digital leaders, advisory professionals and technical industry experts combine to provide depth of knowledge across markets and the digital landscape, both now and into the future. We ask the right questions to achieve the most valuable digital solutions and outcomes for you.

We know that one size doesn’t fit all. We will help you determine which solution is right for you and how it helps your organisation resolve challenges and create value for your business.

We can help articulate what digital means for your organisation and how it can transform your asset base. We work with clients to formulate a portfolio of activities to test and scale real commercial opportunities.

Our experience in designing systems to make more informed operational and strategic decisions has helped our clients minimise risk. We can help you strike the right balance between an internal and external focus and eliminate blind spots in decision making.

To form a holistic picture and achieve the full realm of possibilities and opportunities, we consider the design of your built assets, operations, workforce and business models in unison.

The time to make your digital decisions is now.

Explore Our Digital Futures

Our insights lay a strong foundation to tackle challenges and realise the possibilities created by digital.

Asia girl looking up at Shanghai tower

The Digital Landscape

Understand the current and ever-changing digital landscape to plan for the path ahead with wave one of our research.

Digital Horizon

The Digital Horizon

Wave two of our research identifies four key areas organisations must focus on to thrive in the digital economy.

Aurecon's Our Digital Futures - Your Digital Decisions

Your Digital Decisions

Wave three explores the decision making that will help organisations realise the possibilities of digital ways of working.

Learn more about how Aurecon can guide your digital future

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