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'We're not as digital as we need to be', managing director says

The former managing director of Facebook ANZ and founder of The Digital CEO has shed some light on how Australian companies continue to lag behind other countries in terms of digital adoption. 

user iconEmma Musgrave 02 July 2019 Corporate Counsel
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Speaking at PEXA's PropertyX conference, Stephen Scheeler, former managing director of Facebook ANZ and founder of The Digital CEO, described how the nation is unknowingly falling behind other jurisdictions when it comes to implementing key digital tools across local businesses.

"We’re not as digital as we need to be," Mr Scheeler told the crowd.

"We’re good at being digital as consumers but we’re not good at being digital as businesses.


"A lot of countries are ahead of us. You go to Asia, they’re ahead of us, you go to some European countries, they’re ahead of us. They’ve adopted more digital technology than us and they’ve got a greater digital mindset than us.

"We need to get on board with that here in Australia because its critical to our economy and it’s critical to the future of our businesses."

Mr Sheeler said there are four components that make up the digital parameters. 

"It’s the application of technology, data and analytics. For analytics you could also say artificial intelligence. It’s the application of these three things across four different areas," he said.

"The first is the products and services that we sell. This is the most obvious one. This is the websites we build and the mobile apps that we have - the easiest part.

"The second is the assets that sit within our businesses and how we digitise those.

"The third is: what are the operations inside our business? How do things move around?

"And then finally, how do we digitise people/the workforce? How do we make sure people can work with each other and use digital correctly, and also increasingly: how do we work with machines?"

Mr Sheeler noted that the work we as consumers currently do with machines will be superseded in just a few years time, as smarter machines start to make headway.

"Right now we all work with machines. We’ve got a phone in our hand, we’ve got a laptop on our desk but in a few years we’re going to be working with a lot smarter machines that are going to be interactive with us and we’re going to have to learn and recruit people who know how to work with machines in a very collaborative way, so we’re going to have to think a bit differently about the kind of talent we bring into our companies," he said.

"Why is this important?

"Its important because disruption comes from any one of those four areas. If you look at some of the most disruptive companies in the world, they’re often innovating and disrupting from all four areas, not just one."

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