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The University of Sydney Business School and Capgemini Australia to ease the nation's transformation to a digital future

29 Oct 2013

Australian retailers have been quick to embrace social media but are they using it effectively; are they missing other "digital" opportunities to engage with their customers and if so, what kinds of adjustments are necessary?

These are the kind of questions that the University of Sydney Business School's new Digital Transformation Lab will seek to answer in its first research report to be released before the end of the year.

The newly established Lab, the first of its kind in Australia, will produce up to three research reports per year on the "impact, relevance and benefits" of digital technology on the nation's commercial and industrial sectors.

"Nearly all of our major retailers have turned to social media in an effort to engage with their customers and to allow employees to work in new ways. But are they using it effectively?" asks the Business School's Associate Professor Kai Riemer. "It's easy to jump into social media but it's hard to get it right."

The Digital Transformation Lab is a collaborative venture between the Business School and the Australian subsidiary of the French technology consultancy, Capgemini.

"We will work together in a way that combines our established research skills with Capgemini's understanding of the Australian digital economy and leadership in business transformation and organisational change," said Associate Professor Kai Riemer.

"Researchers in our Business School's Discipline of Business Information Systems will provide their expertise in the management of digital technologies and the challenges faced by Australian businesses as they deal with the transformation to a digital environment.

"While this transformation impacts on traditional business models, it also offers opportunities for using digital technologies to innovate internally to find new ways in which work is carried out and managed.

"The partnership with Capgemini will allow us to explore these emerging opportunities effectively. Together we are confident the Australian Digital Transformation Lab will provide theoretical and practical applications to ensure local businesses are best placed to gain value from the ever-changing digital economy," Associate Professor Riemer said.

"The Capgemini Australia Digital Transformation Lab will focus on the unique issues that local businesses face with digital, be they enterprise social networks, mobile applications, process digitisation or social commerce, across a range of industry sectors," added Ben Gilchriest, Digital Transformation Lead at Capgemini Australia said.

"The digital world is spawning a raft of innovations that are pushing the boundaries of mobile, social and other emerging platforms and our clients are faced with unprecedented challenges that are forcing them to rethink what their customers' value and how to meet those needs," said Paul Thorley, Chief Executive Officer at Capgemini Australia.  

"Our partnership with The University of Sydney Business School will weave together the core technological innovations with global macro trends to derive unique foresight into the digital disruptors which have significant business impact," Mr Thorley concluded.