Australia are the least confident globally, when it comes to their level of business agility, according to new findings from the Oracle Cloud Agility study.
In addition, research highlights that many organisations cannot flexibly manage workloads or rapidly develop, test, and launch new applications, leaving them poorly prepared to deal with competitive threats.
The study also found a lack of awareness among businesses around how technology, like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), can be used to help address these challenges.
In Australia, only 51 per cent consider their organisation to be agile (i.e., able to adjust quickly to new business opportunities or to iterate new products and services quickly) - this was the lowest out of all countries surveyed.
Respondents are clear about the benefits of agility, with 78 per cent stating that the ability to rapidly develop, test, and launch new business applications is either important or critically important to the success of their business.
In particular, over one third of respondents (37 per cent) believe the effective mobilisation of applications and services is the most important factor for business success today when it comes to IT infrastructure.
“The Australian economy faces major disruption from the disruptive forces of digital technologies; you don’t have to look very far to see the fundamental shift that is happening,” says Tim Ebbeck, Regional Managing Director, Oracle Australia and New Zealand.
“Organisations of all types and sizes and from all sectors are trying to modernise their core platforms and focus on better ways to consume IT, as they seek to innovate and differentiate themselves from their competition.
“However, while you can see from the survey results, that while the benefits of being agile are clearly understood, and sought after, the lack of understanding around and adoption of PaaS, is likely to mean that businesses are failing to harness one of the key technologies that will enable them to achieve their business goals in this area.
“We want to help bridge this awareness gap by showing businesses how the right cloud platform solution can enable them to react almost immediately to market conditions and get well ahead of the competition.”
The study also reveals that the impact of agility on competitiveness is critically important to businesses.
In fact, the ability of competitors to launch innovative customer services more rapidly was identified as the top threat by businesses (29 per cent). Up to 59 per cent of businesses do not have an IT infrastructure capable of responding to these competitive threats.
Significantly, Ebbeck reveals the agility benefits delivered by PaaS are not being leveraged.
In fact, 63 per cent of Australian businesses either cannot, or do not know if they can shift workloads between public, private, and hybrid clouds, and migrate on-premises applications to the cloud - this was the second highest figure globally after the UK.
Additionally, only 44 per cent of businesses can develop, test, and deploy new business applications for use on mobile devices within six months, with this figure falling to just 21 per cent within a one month timeframe.
Ebbeck believes the survey results bear out the assessment that businesses are not fully aware of how PaaS can increase operational agility.
Only 25 per cent of respondents state that they fully understand what PaaS is, while 35 per cent admit that they do not understand it at all.
For those that say they do understand PaaS, the top three benefits cited are savings on the cost of internal IT infrastructure (46 per cent), reduction in IT complexity (37 per cent) and the reduction in timeframes for Web application development (29 per cent).