SYDNEY, 20 September 2011: A study from Canon entitled, ‘Change or Be Left Behind’ has highlighted the crucial role that technology plays as Australian organisations go through changes in their business. When asked what will be the single biggest change their organisation will go through in the next ten years, 43 per cent of business leaders overwhelmingly said that technological advancements were top of the list. This was over and above other areas such as general company changes (19 per cent), people changes (18 per cent) and wider economic/legislative changes (18 per cent).
The two part Canon-sponsored research study sought to understand attitudes and trends in how Australian businesses view change, pinpoint key barriers to change, the role that technology plays in the process and what the formula for good change is. Split via two audiences, the first survey spoke with 300 senior Australian executives responsible for change, while the second questioned 700 general business workers, not responsible for change in Australian organisations.
The over-riding theme from the study was that despite agreeing change was important (86 per cent) and that their business will be left behind if they don’t address it (73 per cent), just 39 per cent of Australian organisations embrace it and under half (49 per cent) take a pro-active stance on change. A healthy proportion of respondents didn’t believe their business had the right tools to deliver change (40 per cent), but agreed that technology played a very important role within the change process (95 per cent) and increased their competitive nature.
Craig Manson, director, Canon Business Imaging said, “If we look at everything that’s ‘changing’ within Australian business, technology change is by far and away the biggest thing that organisations will go through in the next ten years. But this is not about implementing technology for technology’s sake. Organisations need to take the time to look at how their business is evolving and growing, working out how technology can align with the business, changing it for the better and making it more competitive.”
The critical driving force behind change
Not only will technology be the biggest change organisations go through, it was also ranked highly among both sets of respondents as the main reason behind why change occurred in Australian businesses in the first place. Each survey group was asked to rank three of their top driving forces behind change. Fifty-nine per cent of business leaders ranked technological advancements as the biggest driving force behind change, with financial (54 per cent) and people considerations (44 per cent) placed second and third respectively. Employees allocated technology in fourth place (44 per cent), behind reasons such as increased competition (56 per cent), financial considerations (55 per cent) and the need to work smarter and increase productivity (51 per cent).
Technology also plays a massive role towards increasing the pace of change, with 84 per cent of respondents agreeing.
Of those who voted technological advancements across both surveys as their top reason for driving change, the following were cited as reasons why:
- The business gains better efficiencies and is more competitive (47 per cent)
- Market forces dictate that technology is a crucial element of driving change (30 per cent)
- The speed at which it can drive change for good (23 per cent)
Owen Coppage, CIO, AGL Energy, a Canon customer which has implemented a major change project, said, “Change is disruptive, but if you manage the people aspect it can be seen as a positive. Hard dollar savings are great, but it’s productivity and efficiency improvements that really add the value to our business. One of our key requirements when undertaking projects at AGL is having a change manager as part of the implementation team.”
For more information on the research study, please see: www.canon.com.au/business/change
Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-four US patent recipients* for the past 19 years, and had global revenues of around $US45 billion in 2010. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit www.canon.com.au, www.facebook.com/canonaustralia, www.twitter.com/canonaustralia, www.youtube.com/canonaustralia
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