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 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION A PRIME PRIORITY Featured
08 March 2019 Posted by 

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION A PRIME PRIORITY

Top 10 concerns of mid-market CEOs
ROB BAZZANI
DIGITAL transformation is the number one priority for Australia’s mid-market businesses in 2019, according to a survey by KPMG Australia.
The dual challenges of innovation and disruption take second place, while the need to make their businesses truly customer- and citizen-centric came third in the list of business challenges.
 
In third position were concerns over-regulation. This covered both the sector-specific regulations facing the financial services industry and the broader challenges of harmonising business regulation; cutting red tape; and concerns over the capacity/capability of Australia’s regulators. 
 
The ineffectiveness of government to deal with these issues was also a major gripe, with respondents noting the upheavals both at federal and state level that have plagued the Australian political landscape and demonstrating a lack of belief that Australia’s major parties can work cohesively on national agenda items.
 
The second annual KPMG business report, Keeping Us Up At Night, surveyed more than 220 C-suite executives in both large and medium-sized businesses. 
 
Although respondents were asked to name their top five issues, recurring themes cut across specific concerns, industries and size of business.
 
The top 10 concerns for the mid-market were:
 
Digital Transformation.
Innovation & Disruption.
Customer-centricity.
Regulation.
Political Paralysis.
Cost competitiveness.
Cybersecurity & Data privacy.
Public trust.
Big data.
Infrastructure and liveable cities.
 
For the mid-market, the focus on customer experience and expectations in an increasingly digitized world, the need to be cost competitive in disrupted markets that are also facing regulatory change, were clearly top of mind, particularly as business leaders see little action from government.
 
For big business, public trust was a major issue, no doubt fuelled by the Royal Commission into the Banks, as well as well-publicised corporate scandals. The mid-market conversely placed the lack of public trust as number eight in the poll, behind issues of cybersecurity and data privacy.
 
We’re not surprised that the mid-market puts worries about digital transformation at the top of the list. For the mid-market that can be extremely challenging.
There’s a lot at stake: in the innovation race, the winner usually takes all. However, true transformation should also include culture – often the poor cousin behind the more visible technology investment.
 
Being cost competitive – with respondents citing the rising costs to employers of energy, raw materials, taxes and government charges and labour costs, including wages – is a definite issue. Award and penalty rates remain top of mind at the smaller end-of-business scale and contribute to uncertainty.
 
This is fuelled by genuine unrest on how Big Data is being used, how often, by whom, as individuals grapple with a world in which information is shared, traded and potentially misused.
 
To learn more, please contact David Pring on 9455 9996 or davidpring@kpmg.com.au. 
 
First published by Rob Bazzani, National Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise Australia, in Inside Small Business 


editor

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