National Executive Partner and Managing Partner of the Brisbane office, Andrew Graham, recently took part in research for the Connecting Commerce: Business confidence in the digital environment whitepaper, written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Telstra. The whitepaper explores digital transformation across 45 cities from around the world and provides insights on the future of digital technology.
Across geographies and industries, businesses are embarking on, or preparing for, a mission to put digital technology at the heart of everything they do, an exercise that has come to be known as digital transformation. It can be an enormously difficult and complex undertaking, requiring not just the deployment of advanced technologies but also the overhauling of business processes and a large degree of cultural change. In most cases, firms’ existing internal resources will not be enough to pull transformation off, and they need to look outside their own four walls for additional support. Businesses will find most of that support in the city or cities where they operate. For start-ups and other small firms, the city environment often provides the only resources they tap into.
Large businesses with national or global operations can look further afield for help, but their local offices– whether headquarters or branches–also rely heavily on the city environment for talent, ideas, financial resources or simply inspiration to help them achieve their digital initiatives. Even when it comes to government policies, those implemented by City Hall have more influence on businesses’ digital success than national policies. The majority of business executives surveyed by The EIU believe this to be the case. This report finds that business leaders are relatively confident that their city environments can provide the support they need to meet their digital ambitions. There are clear indications, however, of areas where many cities are coming up short, including in the supply of digital talent and the sharing of government data. The study is based on a survey The EIU conducted of over 2,600 executives in 45 cities around the world, as well as one-on-one interviews with 15 business leaders, city officials, and other experts.