Australian enterprise is failing to realise the benefits of mobile technology and capitalise on investment, according to the Accenture mobility insights report released recently.

Despite high current and expected IT expenditure, many Australian organisations struggle to see progress in mobility initiatives the study found.

The global management, consulting, technology services and outsourcing company conducted the study between December 2013 and January 2014. It was designed to explore how companies are applying digital technologies, especially mobility, to help improve various aspects of the business.

The study consisted of an online survey of executives representing 10 industries in 14 countries including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK and the US. There were 120 Australian respondents.

Australian figures show 71 per cent of executives rate digital technologies as one of the top five priorities for the coming year. Only Chinese executives view it as having higher value when it comes to grow and engage with customers.

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According to the report, Australian companies plan to spend much more in the coming year on mobility than other digital technologies. A quarter of respondents reported they planned to spend at least 26 per cent of their IT budget on mobility. Five per cent said they expected to allocate half or more of their budget to mobile technology.

Thirty per cent of respondents said they plan to spend at least $US30 million on mobile capabilities in the next two years. The only market that surpasses this figure is the United States.

Accenture said that in spite of these figures, many Australian companies continue to struggle with progression when it comes to mobility. The firm measured return on investment (ROI) which it admits is not the end goal, but can show how effectively companies are using the technology.

Only 16 per cent of Australian respondents had achieved over 100 per cent ROI for their mobility implementations in the last two years. Forty-nine per cent reported less than 50 per cent ROI.

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Accenture claimed mobility is an enabler within enterprises and a lower ROI offers a good indication of which businesses should be looking to make improvements for greater progress.

Accenture Australia mobility lead, John Cassidy, commented on the results of the report.

"One of the biggest challenges to progress is the lack of formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategies, which in Australia is the case for 39 per cent of organisations. If we look to the United States, UK and China we can see a direct connection between investing in a formal mobility strategy, and achieving greater ROI. For Australian organisations to truly harness the potential of mobility, they need to make investments at a strategy, organisational and operational level."

The firm said that for most, this needs leadership from the top. The report stated that only 35 per cent of Australian CEOs were involved in the development of their company's mobile strategy. Accenture also said 47 per cent of Australian companies were creating multiple strategies for different business units. This indicated investments were being made in isolation instead of integrating them into the overall enterprise strategy.

The company said one of the main restrictions for Australian enterprise in capitalising on IT spend is the failure to develop formal metrics and analytics that can accurately measure the success of the expenditure.

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