When it comes to digital investments, only six per cent of businesses in New Zealand are thinking about creating better customer experiences, while 76 per cent are focused on growing revenues.
According to PwC New Zealand research, digital transformation is slowly making its way into organisational strategies with 50 per cent of Kiwi companies integrating digital strategies corporate strategies, compared to 70 per cent globally.
“New Zealand businesses are struggling to put people and data together at the centre of their digital transformation,” PwC New Zealand partner Kris Nygren said.
“Instead, they’re focused on increasing revenues and making improvements to their products and services. However, now more than ever, putting the customer at the centre of their digital strategies will be key to unlocking the value of their investments.
“It’s also a question of balancing multiple priorities – 44 per cent of our respondents said their most important digital initiative over the next year is to re-imagine their product and service offering.
On the other hand, only 14 per cent are prioritising enterprise transformation and 18 per cent are focusing on the customer experience. There are clearly some missed opportunities here.”
For Nygren, local businesses lag behind global counterparts in data and analytics deployments, with only a third making analytics a priority, compared to 44 per cent globally.
A truly world-class data and analytics function isn’t just about investing more money, according to Nygren, it’s also about taking a human centred approach to developing an analytics function.
“From how you engage the business, through to how you prioritise what the analytics function does,” he explained.
“We believe that the ability to create great human experiences will become an even greater source of competitive advantage as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet of things define the next wave of technological disruption and the way people interact with machines.”
In terms of emerging technologies, digitally focused businesses are most comfortable with the Internet of Things (IoT), yet a third of organisations struggle to integrate new and existing technologies and data, compared to 22 per cent internationally.
As a result, many are turning to external partners to help them implement new technologies in their organisation.
“While New Zealand companies are clearly struggling to master emerging technologies, it isn’t surprising: these technologies are emerging for a reason,” Nygren added.
Technology such as blockchain is only now seeing its first commercial applications, but that doesn’t mean companies can afford to ignore its disruptive potential.
“That ideal future state means bringing together their business strategy, customer experience and technology into a coherent, fully-fledged digital strategy,” Nygren said.
“It also means being able to bring together human centred design with data and analytics, a combination that is central to this broader transformation, and yet is still a weak point for the majority.”