2020 has delivered an unforeseen level of disruption across virtually all industries. In this time of uncertainty, disruption as a future possibility has been replaced by innovation and action.

From natural disasters to the present health and economic challenges that we are all facing around the world, 2020 has delivered an unprecedented level of disruption across business and daily life that no one was prepared for or could predict.

Many organisations have been compelled to adapt existing technology, rethink investments and fast-track transformation plans to ensure business continuity.

In light of this rapid shift, DXC and emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte, conducted over 600 interviews over an eight-week period to form a four-pulse business study, Beyond Disruption 2020. The study tapped into the learnings and insights of business and technology leaders to give you an up-to-date snapshot, uncovering how Australian and New Zealand organisations are adapting, innovating, investing and transforming in this challenging climate to survive, and prepare for growth.

The report expands on the findings of our Beyond Disruption business study and provides practical and effective recommendations to help your organisation weather the storm of 2020 and emerge from disruption with clear skies ahead.

Australian and New Zealand businesses were compelled to transform almost overnight, and the majority rose to the challenge in an incredible display of resilience.

- Seelan Nayagam, Managing Director, DXC Technology
Asia Pacific

Five recommendations to help your organisation

Many organisations have been surprised by their ability to adapt to new ways of working during the recent disruptions, reflecting on “what would have taken us two years took two weeks”. Going forward, it is important to harness the learnings to explore more productive ways of working throughout the recovery phase and beyond.

Organisations should adapt their business and technology strategy with the same sense of urgency that was used in response to the disruptions of 2020.

1. Governance and leadership key to developing resilient organisations

Using technology to help create business resiliency cannot be an aspirational target but instead must be a defined organisational strategy.

Boards and executives must raise their technology literacy and ensure there is support for the increased dependency on technology to drive resiliency. Leaders must actively pursue new thinking and ideas, be prepared to change business models and processes, and also work collaboratively with their employees to execute changes.

In adapting to new ways of working, careful consideration needs to be given to the cultural impact of these changes on employee well-being.

2. Create amazing employee experiences to thrive in disruption

Sustainable, secure, simple and scalable experiences allow employees to be multi-disciplinary, adapt better to change, and maximise their productivity and creativity. An individual’s location and chosen working hours no longer dictate their level of productivity.

Choosing the right platforms for collaboration, workflow, insights and planning matter now more than ever. It is equally prudent to rationalise core applications and standardise the employee experience within a simple cloud-based platform.

Employees are expecting technology solutions which make their lives easier so they can focus on getting the job done.

3. Ensure your technology core can survive disruption

The monolithic platforms of the past are still holding organisations back far more than they realise.

Technology modernisation drives organsational flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and take advantage of new opportunities. Furthermore, once platforms have been in place for some time, it’s important to optimise those investments to drive down the cost of providing services to customers.

Automation will play a key role in managing core technology platforms; therefore, a clear and scalable solution is key for recovery and growth.

4. Secure your organisation against increased threats

The fast-paced nature of a modern organisation means they are constantly making changes to their technology footprint. Unfortunately, these changes allow criminals the opportunity to exploit weaknesses both directly within the technology and also amongst the people that use them.

Businesses need to revisit all current security processes, ensuring their employees have strong security awareness and training, and also plan for business continuity.

It’s imperative security is embedded in everyday processes with a focus on simple, usable, and modular solutions.

5. Harness the power of data to recover, grow and stay strong

Organisations must take advantage of the power of data and analytics to improve operational resilience, revitalise products and services, increase margins and drive growth.

It is imperative that organisations can access trusted data that allows a holistic view of their customer and operations, in order to identify new opportunities and data-driven services at scale. It’s important that this doesn’t just happen organically but is planned, managed and embedded within the business.

Employees should be encouraged to improve their data literacy and use data in new and creative ways.

Findings and insights

Of the many insights uncovered throughout the research, several key findings were revealed:

Adapting to disruption

One thing has become abundantly clear, technology is now seen by the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand organisations as the answer - or at least, a large part of the answer - to overcome disruption.

82% of organisations see technology as a key enabler in managing disruption, rising to 92% for organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

Based on their experience of managing disruption in 2020, the majority of organisations say they are likely to continue implementing certain policies beyond 2020 disruptions.

  • • 90% have invested in cloud services and enhanced cybersecurity to make them more resilient
  • • 82% are rethinking their business strategy in order to provide a current technology roadmap
  • • 82% of organisations will continue flexible working policies

Investing in technology

Despite the recent disruptions adversely affecting the majority of industries, organisations plan to increase technology spending by 5% across the entire business, rising to 10% for those with over 1,000 employees, reaffirming technology as a key enabler to manage disruption.

While technology is a part of most business strategies, the disruptions of 2020 have compelled many organisations to move quickly with 80% fast-tracking their technology modernisation.

As a result of this increased focus on employees, organisations have identified the top five most important investments over the next 12 months.

  • 1. 75% Workplace modernisation
  • 2. 72% Data analytics
  • 3. 68% Cloud services
  • 4. 66% Cybersecurity
  • 5. 66% Business applications

Building business resilience

This focus on employees to overcome disruption has also transformed company cultures. Organisational flexibility, employee commitment and leadership and management style were noted as the key factors in building resilience against disruption.

52% of organisations have cultivated a culture of productivity, encouraging collaboration and employee commitment towards a shared vision of overcoming disruption.

It is clear small SMEs are in need of more support, aligned with government assistance and incentives. This is reflected in the general outlook which reveals 86% of large Australian and New Zealand organisations believe they have managed the current crisis well, compared to only 61% of SMEs.

Recovery and data-driven insights

Despite the ongoing disruption, a willingness to invest in new technologies and transformation efforts on employee well-being has resulted in varying levels of optimism from organisations. 54% believe it will take between up to three years to fully recover from the disruptions, 25% are hopeful of recovering by the end of the year and only 6% believe it will take longer than three years to recover.

Findings show the key business recovery priorities for organisations over the next 12 months are:

  • • 79% Improving cybersecurity
  • • 76% Streamlining and lowering costs
  • • 70% Improving well-being programs
  • • 59% Increasing skills and training programs


The research in this study is based on 620 interviews conducted with Australian (406) and New Zealand (214) technology decision makers in June and July 2020.

Interviews were conducted over four pulses with greater than 150 respondents per wave. Interviews were conducted utilising an online survey and were completed on computers, tablets and smartphones. Each wave took respondents up to five minutes to complete.

Respondents included Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Operating Officers (COO), Chief Information Ocers (CIO), Chief Digital Officers (CDO), managers and other technology decision makers. Respondents were required to have a strong understanding of their organisation’s IT and digital purchasing and strategy.

Random sampling was conducted across all industries with results weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics and Stats NZ population estimates by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification class and business size. Sampling (and weighting) was conducted with organisations with 20+ employees in Australia and 5+ employee organisations in New Zealand.

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