Telstra Vantage™, Australia’s pre-eminent ideas, technology and business experience that brings together more than 6,000 like-minded attendees, is coming to Melbourne next week.

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As part of the event, each year we survey executives across the country from industries ranging from retail and mining to agriculture, to discover their most pressing business needs for the year ahead.

This year, almost one third of attendees indicated that “creating and improving customer experience” is their top business priority. When breaking the data down even further into industry, this category was placed highest by Real Estate services (50%), Public Administration and Safety (43%), and Retail Trade (38%).

Creating and improving customer experience is a top business priority for Vantage™ attendees

Beyond customer experience, our research highlights how technology-driven innovation is not just disrupting traditional business models, it is facilitating the transformation of customer experiences. The potential unlocked by cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) has opened the door for a new way of doing things and it’s now up to companies to invest time in training and building the right expertise.

“Capturing and analysing data to deliver actionable insights” increased as a business priority from 2017 for every industry we surveyed. In sectors like electricity, waste and manufacturing, the importance of retrieving data in meaningful ways has increased as much as 10 per cent. However the most dramatic increase was seen in the agriculture industry, rising from six percent in 2017 to 25 percent in 2018.

Analysing data to deliver insights increased from 6% in 2017, to 25% in 2018 for agriculture industry
This escalation suggests the digitisation revolution is in full swing across many industries, particularly for regional businesses that are seeing the impact of IoT on business decisions. Growth in IoT has overseen a boom in smart farming, introducing state-of-the-art monitoring sensors that are able to track crops, livestock and plant life with relative ease.

Another business priority identified by Telstra Vantage™ attendees is “optimising network and cloud resources”. The focus on getting the most from your network and cloud infrastructure now sits as high as 30 per cent in industries like mining, oil and gas, and sits as the third biggest business priority overall. This is partly because the storage capacity available in cloud data continues to grow astronomically. According to a a survey by Cisco the 1.1 zettabytes of capacity available in 2018 nearly doubles the amount of 2017.

Optimising network and cloud resources sits as the third business priority overall

The sharp increase in priority for our customers in technology-specific categories over more generic business subjects also reflects a changing of the guard. Innovation has come a long way in a very short time, but every year we’ve seen huge increases around consideration of cloud, IoT and big data technologies. In 2018, the big winner however is the customer, with Australian businesses putting a greater focus on delivering better customer experiences than ever before.

If you’re interested in enhancing your customers’ experience, speak to one our experts.