Deloitte is expanding digital capabilities at pace across New Zealand, driven by the unveiling of a specialist Kiwi division and an Auckland-based acquisition.
A matter of days after launching Deloitte Digital locally, the consultancy giant snapped up Salesforce partner CloudinIT to further bolster local offerings.
Collectively, the flurry of activity aims to strengthen a digital portfolio which is rapidly expanding across the country.
“The launch marks the fruition of a number of strategic moves at Deloitte, which collectively support our ambition to make digital real for our clients,” said Grant Frear, partner at Deloitte Digital.
“The comprehensive set of capabilities at Deloitte Digital means we can make a real impact for our clients and their customers through the transformational potential of digital.”
According to Frear, in citing both internal research and anecdotal customer conversations, digital is “high on the agenda” of executives and boards in New Zealand.
“And we know that, despite all the focus on the bleeding edge, our clients’ biggest challenges around digital are more often about getting the basics right,” Frear added.
“This includes integrating old systems, getting a single view of the customer, trying to break down operational silos and keeping customer data safe and secure.”
In assessing the market, Frear said digital maturity comes in many stages, with the majority of Kiwi businesses still in the early phase of deployment, preferring to “test the waters” with specific initiatives.
“Given the sheer volume of choice, identifying where to start can put off making material progress,” Frear explained.
“This ‘spinning of wheels’ along with too much focus on how to identify the next technology breakthrough can cause them to spend a lot and achieve a little.”
Often forgotten, according to Frear, is “cultivating the talent” who will lead the digital effort in a business, with Deloitte Digital aiming to help customers create an organisational culture.
“Building the right culture - one that’s ready to support company-wide change and adaptation - is a critical step toward becoming a digitally mature organisation,” Frear said.
“Digitally mature companies exhibit other common characteristics. In addition to articulating a clear, coherent digital strategy, they champion cross-functional teams and collaborative cultures; they look ahead five to 10 years; and they pilot and scale experiments to drive innovation.”
As reported by Reseller News, Deloitte recently launched a combined digital offering in the New Zealand market, designed to drive enterprise adoption across the country.
Under the banner of Deloitte Digital, the new divisions aims to help organisations “navigate digital change” through “advice and execution”, irrespective of maturity levels.
Specifically, the advisory firm will provide guidance around strategy, design and analytics, in addition to technology, cyber and culture.
Key customers locally include 2degrees, Tower, Farmlands and Wellington Water, alongside BNZ, Chorus, ASB and the Inland Revenue.
A Deloitte study of global digital business, undertaken in collaboration with the MIT Sloan Management Review, revealed five key practices that the organisations best able to achieve digital maturity employ.
“These can serve as a roadmap that all companies can follow,” Frear said. “Firstly, implementing systemic changes in how they organise and develop workforces, spur workplace innovation, and cultivate digitally minded cultures and experiences.
“Secondly, playing the long game. Digitally mature companies’ strategic planning horizons are consistently longer than those of less digitally mature organisations, looking out five years or more.
“Thirdly, scaling small digital experiments into enterprise-wide initiatives that have business impact. At digitally mature entities, small “i” innovations or experiments typically lead to more big “I” innovations than at other organisations.”
According to Frear, digitally mature organisations are more than “twice as likely” as companies are at the early stages of digital development to drive both "small, iterative experiments" and "enterprise-wide" initiatives.
Fourthly, Frear advised Kiwi businesses to become “talent magnets” in a bid to attract and retain the best staff in the industry.
“Employees and executives are highly inclined to jump ship if they feel they don’t have opportunities to develop digital skills,” he explained. “Digitally mature organisations typically understand the need for, and place a premium on, attracting and developing digital talent.
“Finally, securing leaders with the vision necessary to lead a digital strategy, and a willingness to commit resources to achieve this vision.
“These leaders are more likely to have articulated a compelling ambition for what their digital businesses can be and define digital initiatives as core components to achieving their business strategy.”
The key for Frear is that none of these practices involve a sole focus on developing the “next killer app” or making the “next big technological breakthrough” or “replacing the workforce with robots”.
They are, in some respects, more “mundane” and related to long held business fundamentals.
“Digital allows us to tackle the fundamentals of business with a new set of tools and at times a new set of rules,” Frear added. “Strategy, design, technology and culture are the key ingredients to making an impact that matters through digital.”