Australian companies continue to invest in emerging tech amid COVID-19

Business survival emerges as the number one reason to invest in emerging technologies as Australian executives re-evaluate strategic priorities.

In their immediate response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian companies are prioritising investments in AI, Cloud, Blockchain and Edge Computing, according to new KPMG International research.

The report, a collaboration between KPMG International and HFS Research, Enterprise Reboot, surveyed 900 technology executives* to explore the current and future state of emerging technologies and showed while the majority of global organisations are increasing investments in emerging technology compared with a few months ago, others are pausing and re-considering the impact of COVID-19.

Specifically, 59 percent of executives surveyed say that COVID-19 has created an impetus to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, yet approximately four in 10 say they will halt investment in emerging technology altogether as a result of COVID-19. Executives have shifted their focus to must-have technologies, and 56 percent of those surveyed say cloud migration has become an absolute necessity due to COVID-19.

The biggest issues preventing technology initiatives delivering value in Australia are predominantly not technical, but related to organisational culture, commitment to the expected benefits and worries about the risk of failure. One in five (20 percent) of Australian executives reported challenges with changing the culture of their organisation, far higher than globally (12 percent). Australian respondents are also further away from seeing value from emerging technologies – particularly in 5G and edge computing compared with organisations in the rest of the world.

“Australian respondents are driven to emerging technology because it is seen as essential to business survival – they are driven by a desire to improve decision making and customer experience. Cost reduction was a secondary driver for investment for the Australian respondents,” said Jon Stone, Partner, KPMG Digital Delta.

“Emerging technologies and new ways of working can play a significant role in the transformation to a more digital economy. These technologies are helping Australian organisations build customer, citizen and stakeholder trust, keep remote workforces connected, increase business resilience and build a strong foundation for future product and service innovation.”

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