During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians embraced virtual experiences – working, learning, shopping and entertaining ourselves online. Many businesses also pivoted quickly when the pandemic hit and have continued their operations virtually. Unfortunately, we know there are many businesses out there still struggling with the new tech-led environment we now live and work in. These businesses run the risk of being left behind as the economy rebuilds and consumer behaviour and expectations continue to change.

Working from home and online shopping has exploded, along with virtual classrooms, telehealth consults, online gym classes and just about everything else virtual you can think of, thanks to a massive shift to online and digital platforms.

How big is the digital opportunity?

New economic modelling Telstra has commissioned by PwC has underscored the profound effect accelerating the digital economy could have on the nation.

The modelling found increased digitisation could add up to $90 billion to the Australian economy and create up to 250,000 new jobs by 2025.

The jobs created in a digital Australia aren’t just roles you need an engineering or IT degree for either. Accelerating the digital economy will create a ripple effect across industries, creating jobs in all sectors from customer service, logistics, design and professional services.

Are you digitally mature?

Running a business in a post-COVID world is very different to how we did things pre-pandemic. When COVID-19 first hit, we were there helping our business customers implement digitisation solutions, moving thousands of people out of physical offices and stores, so they could conduct their business virtually.

The businesses who embraced digital tools were among the most successful during the pandemic, but what about the ones who didn’t, or didn’t know where to start?

Based on our experience and expertise helping businesses from every industry across Australia on their digital transformation journey, our business technology experts at Telstra Purple have developed a new Digital Maturity tool designed to measure a business’ ability to respond to the new technology-enabled environment we all now operate in.

The tool is really easy to use. After answering some simple questions, you’re given a Digital Maturity score, which you can compare against your industry standard, as well as insights and advice on what your next steps could be in your digital transformation.

Knowing how your business stacks up – where you are doing well and where and how you could improve – is powerful knowledge when you are deciding how to respond to changing business environments. It could be as simple as adding an online ordering feature to your website, rolling-out video collaboration tools for your employees or implementing automation into your processes to maximise efficiency.

This is about supporting and guiding Australian businesses and organisations to ensure they thrive in today’s digital world. It is in addition to our recent free website initiative for our small and medium business customers, to help them connect with their customers online.

A strong Australian economy requires a thriving digital economy. Organisations that embrace digitisation not only stand the best chance of success but will also pull the Australian economy up and be the job creators of tomorrow.

We are proud to play our part to ensure Australian businesses have the best chance of not just bouncing back, but bouncing higher, in a stronger, future-proofed economy.