The move comes at a time when digital has become a top strategic priority for organisations of all sizes. “Technology is creating new ways of operating, raising expectations and enabling new business models,” explained Gerd Schenkel, leader of the new wing Partners in Performance Digital.
Leveraging technology, companies are bolstering the way they identify and engage with customers and optimise customer experiences, and in parallel improving their internal operations including manufacturing and supply chain, as well as back-office functions such as human resources. Meanwhile, government institutions are embracing digitisation to enhance their provision of public services to businesses and citizens, while applying smart tooling to improve activities such as tax collection, fraud detection and public safety.
In a KPMG survey on strategic priorities of Australia’s C-suite leaders in the private and public sector, digital transformation came out on top as the top factor, ahead of innovation and regulation. The growing opportunities and burning platform for adopting emerging technologies is resulting in a rapid growth in digital transformation spending. According to analyst firm IDC, global spending on digital transformation was up 18% last year to $1.18 trillion – an amount almost equal to the GDP of countries such as Australia and Indonesia.
As part of their digital endeavours, organisations frequently turn to external experts for support, including management consultants, with the market for digital transformation consultancy booming. In Australia, digitisation is now the number one growth driver of the country’s US$5 billion consulting industry, with data & analytics, moves to cloud-based systems, Industry 4.0 and robotics process automation among the most in-demand solutions.
A large number of digital transformation programmes however do not achieve the goals set; one estimate places the share of failed or suboptimal transitions at two thirds of all transformations. “We’ve observed many traditional attempts at digital transformation fail for a variety of reasons,” Schenkel agreed.
Partners in Performance Digital has been setup to help customers approach digital transformation in an integral manner, “ensuring technology and people work in sync”, a mix which is set to enable the delivery of lasting results. Schenkel: “It has been disappointing to see many organisations being seduced into deploying canned technology as a core part of their digital agendas, overlooking the critical need to design new business models and processes around humans and their needs. We are here to close a gap in the market.”
He continued, “With our new service offer, Partners in Performance will provide a fresh approach to how organisations approach their digital agenda.” To this end, Partners in Performance Digital has brought together already present digital expertise across Partners in Performance’s footprint, spanning among others technology (led by Phil Ridley), analytics (Juan Ferrara), customer experience (Steven Henderson), and back office transformation (Malcolm Allen). Partners in Performance launched in Australia in 1996 and today has over 300 consultants across offices in Australia & New Zealand, Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
Schenkel has been brought on board to establish and grow the arm, bringing a wealth of experience in the digital realm to the consulting firm. He formerly was the CEO of payment company Tyro, an Executive Director of Telstra Digital and was the founder of UBank, NAB’s digital bank. “If executed well, then digitisation can be a powerful opportunity for companies to stand out from their competitors and open up new growth avenues,” he concluded.