Australian businesses recognise disruption then bury their heads in the sand

Elizabeth Barry 15 May 2017 NEWS

sme owner

A new report from RMIT shows almost two-thirds of Australian businesses aren't prepared for disruption.

A report released today by RMIT Activator has revealed the majority of Australian businesses recognise disruption in their own industries, but then many fail to do anything about it or are slow to respond.

The survey, Disruption – Ignore or Embrace? – found that almost three quarters (73%) of businesses recognised that they were operating in a disruptive environment but one-third chose to ignore the trend. Nearly one-third (30%) were only just starting to explore options of just how they were going to adapt.

Papercloud co-founder and RMIT advisory board member Simon Holland was surprised at how many businesses were effectively burying their heads in the sand.

“If they are not being affected today, they will notice it tomorrow,” he said.

“Businesses need to adopt, embrace and nurture disruption and see how they can be a part of it. It’s about supporting change and getting excited about it rather than being scared.”

The report, which surveyed 533 members of the business community, found many were not engaging in activities to identify disruption despite saying it should be a priority. For example, 30% of respondents said investing in innovation was a "moderate to essential" priority but 37% said "never or rarely".

Businesses may want to make disruption more of a priority as governments look to make it easier for innovative companies to grow and develop disruptive products.

Several policies announced in the recent budget, including a regulatory sandbox and an extension of crowdsourced equity funding (CSEF) to proprietary companies, were praised by the business community.

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