More than a third of Australian businesses still do not consider themselves "digital enterprises" and are citing cost as the number one barrier to digitising the business.
About 39 per cent of Australian businesses said they would not describe themselves as a digital enterprises or are unsure.
Of those companies , 29 per cent claim they are more than two years away from becoming a digital enterprise.
That's according to independent research commissioned by Software AG.
The finding come after a survey of more than 500 IT decisions makers in Australia, across a number of key industry sectors including banking and financial services, retail and the public Sector.
The survey has also revealed the vertical sectors that are falling most behind.
About 58 per cent of Australian organisations in the mining industry and 49.2 per cent of organisations in the public sector would not describe themselves as a digital enterprise or were unsure.
The banking and financial services sector came out on top with 73.8 per cent describing themselves as digital enterprises, with the retail sector following closely behind at 71.8 per cent. The greatest obstacle to becoming a digital enterprise was found to be cost, with 59.5 per cent of Australian organisations listing this as the number one barrier.
Also, nearly a quarter of organisations viewed the time investment required to become a digital enterprise as a significant hurdle, at 36.8 per cent. Software AG chief operating officer, Asia-Pacific, Stephen Keys, said while a lot of work still needed to be done in the era of digital disruption, there was huge opportunity to be had by Australian organisations.
"The banking and finance sector, closely followed by the retail industry, is setting the precedent for other industries to follow," he said.
"We must help businesses overcome the perceived barriers, as well as guide them on how best to fully leverage the four forces of mobile, social, cloud and big data so that they can reap the benefits of being a digital enterprise". The survey revealed that cloud was ranked the most important influencing factor on Australian businesses, out of the four megatrends of mobile, social, cloud and big data.
It was ranked the greatest influencing factor by 39.3 per cent of Australian businesses.
Mobile was ranked the second most important influencing factor, but big data's growing influence placed it third, with social fourth. The research also highlighted that a large proportion of Australian businesses (62.9 per cent) did not have a dedicated chief digital officer responsible for digitising the business.
The highest proportion of Australian organisations that had a dedicated chief digital officer came from the retail industry (44.9 per cent), very closely followed by the public sector (44.8 per cent). Keys said the lack of dedicated chief digital officers suggested that more focus needed to be placed on having a clear digital strategy for the entire business, with clear objectives and a robust timeline in place if Australian businesses are to meet their customers' needs and remain competitive in the future.
"It is interesting to note that the public sector is revealed as one of the most prepared industries in terms of having a dedicated resource for this role, yet it is organisations from this sector that claim the lowest percentage of 'Digital Enterprises'". The biggest benefits of digitisation were seen to be the increases in agility, scalability and adaptability of the business (49.3 per cent).
While the advantages of making the company more desirable to work for was also prominent (47.5 per cent).
Keys said it was promising to see that businesses were thinking ahead in terms of the future workforce.
"In order to meet the growing demands of this new generation, organisations need to ensure their business is ready to both attract and maintain the best talent," he said. "There is massive opportunity to embrace the era of digital disruption that is currently upon us, and helping businesses understand how to take advantage of this is paramount".