Why are Australians slow to adopt tech?

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Oct 17, 2019, in Ctrl Alt Del

“While technology is the driver behind business transformation, it is human capital that will determine its success. Particularly in our market, where 40% of the workforce faces a high probability of being replaced by computers in the coming 15 years. It’s an economic imperative for employees and business alike to be agile and responsive to new technologies in order to remain viable, competitive, and profitable,” says Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia.

However, it seems Australian employers find it significantly more challenging to train and hire staff to implement new technologies compared to their global peers.

Come on Aussies, take it from a relatively tech illiterate person like me, it's not good enough.

Research by specialised recruiter Robert Half has found that almost nine in 10 (87%) Australian managers anticipate challenges in upskilling staff to adapt to new technology, well above the global average of 78%.

That's way too high, especially if this country is to stay globally competitive; we need to be future-ready and technology-focused.

That means upskilling.

Barriers to adapting to new technology

“Our research suggests that Australia’s adoption of new technologies, more so than many of its global peers, will be most challenged by the cultural and behavioural obstacles its own human capital presents in the form of an unwillingness to accept and adapt to the future of work, as opposed to functional considerations like the implementation of IT infrastructure,” Morris says.

However, he suggests that while business leaders understand the importance of training to assist with adapting and implementing new technologies within their organisations, many think their efforts could be hampered by organisational challenges.

Nationally, the three biggest barriers to change are resistance to change (33%), insufficient training for employees (33%) and the effort or cost to implement new technologies being greater than the benefits (32%).

Can peers help?

Australian organisations have turned to peer-to-peer knowledge transfer initiatives to help fix this issue. This includes working with a mentor (39% compared to global average of 33%) and knowledge transfer from contractors or other subject matter experts to staff (40% compared to global average of 36%). Other initiatives include in-person training through seminars and courses (40%) and online study (39%).

Bringing in fresh talent

Organisations don't want to lose existing talent, but they may need to augment that talent with digitally savvy employees who can help lead them into the future.

Creating a more agile workforce that is responsive to the benefits of new technology is key to survival in these digitised times.

Yet, according to Robert Half, in a skills-short market, this is not without challenges with 78% of Australian business leaders feeling it is challenging to source professionals skilled in the new technologies their company will be implementing, above the global average of 71%.

This has led to the implementation of a flexible staffing model.

In order to provide support and have access to specialised skills on an as-needed basis, Australian businesses are significantly more likely than their global peers to hire additional contract or interim staff who are subject matter experts (38% vs global average 31%) or hire new temporary staff with the requisite skills (34% vs. global average of 31%).

The CFO experience: move to mentoring

CFOs tend to experience the most resistance to change when adapting staff to new technologies.

The research has determined that more than four in ten (41%) CFOs identify insufficient training for employees as a barrier to technological change, while 40% of CFOs say resistance to change is impeding adoption, compared to only 33% of Australian respondents respectively.

In a skills-short market, eight in 10 CFOs are turning to an integrated staffing model to manage critical projects and share their skills with existing employees than their peers (compared to 73% of Australian respondents). In particular, 47% of CFOs are bringing in consultants who are subject matter experts (compared to 38% of Australian respondents) and 43% of CFOs will hire new temporary staff with the requisite skills (compared to 34% of Australian respondents).

By bringing in external talent who are skilled in the new technologies, CFOs are also creating a peer-to-peer knowledge transfer for existing staff’s professional development.53% of CFOs offer mentoring to help staff learn about new technologies, compared to 39% of Australian respondents.

“Driving digital transformation through an integrated staffing model is a strong strategy - as highly skilled temporary professionals can add value quickly and be a valuable source of knowledge for existing employees. Their varied experience also exposes existing teams to a host of new skills and capabilities that can aide the businesses adaption to new technology.”

“However, companies need to go beyond bringing in external assistance by making professional development of existing staff a business priority. Upskilling existing employees and prioritising training initiatives, simultaneously, will help to both overcome the resistance to change and create a technically proficient workforce,” Morris says.

So come on Aussies, come on. Drop the fear, take up the challenge and embrace the tech.

About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in January 2019 by an independent research firm, surveying 6,075 business leaders in 13 countries worldwide: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK. This survey is part of an international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Where to invest $1,000 right now

When the experts at Next Investors have a stock pick, it may pay to listen.

The Next Investors have been investing in ASX small cap stocks for years, with their best small cap picks yielding returns of 1,200%, 1,120%, 900% and 678%.

They have just revealed their hand-picked, FY2021 stock portfolio of high conviction long-term investments.

Click the link below to see what they are currently investing in.


SEE THE PORTFOLIO

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.

Australian ASX Small Cap stocks | Why Finfeed.com is Australia’s leading small cap publication

Founded seven years ago, Finfeed.com is Australia’s leading and longest standing website for investor and finance news, education and expert opinion.

Published by StocksDigital, Finfeed was created to report daily on the comings and goings of ASX listed stocks in the small cap market.

As the first digital publication dedicated specifically to this space, Finfeed soon became the most trusted publication in the market, quickly garnering over two million page views – a number that continues to rise.

Finfeed.com provides its readers with informative articles that tackle the latest in market moving #ASX small cap news, plus exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. It is aimed at those with an interest in investing, market education, company performance, start-ups and much more.

Finfeed.com is the only media organisation operating under the strength of a Financial Services License and is backed by leading journalists and analysts all with brands of their own.

The website aims to inform, educate and entertain with content that drills down into the heart of financial matters.

Finfeed is a leading source of investor and market information, with everything investors need to know about how to invest written in a way that anyone can understand. 

Over the years, the website has expanded beyond exclusively reporting on small caps, to profile Australia’s leading ASX listed small, mid and large caps as well as some of the country’s most successful CEOs and business leaders to find out what makes them tick.

Every day you will find fresh content covering:

Fast Facts

Over 4,000 articles published

Over 2.3 Million Page Views and counting

Over 10,000 followers on social media

Subscriber list growing by 2% monthly

Thanks for subscribing!

X