New Delhi: New research from Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, has found Australians’ relationship with technology flourished in 2020, with minimal online fatigue despite the reliance on digital throughout the pandemic.
The research leveraged WONGDOODY’s human experience research platform, “The Sounding Board”, to survey 1,000 respondents across Australia in November 2020 – showing that by this time around half of Australians were working from home. A further three quarters stated their use of tech for work and leisure had increased since March 2020, with a similar proportion reporting their usage was still increasing.
Overall, it seems smart tech is now bringing Australians more joy, flexibility and empowerment than ever before, albeit recognising some shortcomings of virtual interactions such as reduced empathy and honesty. Furthermore, the pandemic accelerated adoption of digital services across banking, entertainment, retail, and grocery shopping for 40-50% of Australians. Smaller increases were observed across government services, education, health and wellbeing – indicating a potential opportunity for those providing these services.
The report follows the expansion of WONGDOODY, an Infosys company presence in Australia and New Zealand, with the acquisition of Melbourne-based creative agency Carter Digital. WONGDOODY delivers human-centric digital experiences powered by insights from The Sounding Board, a proprietary research and insight tool that gives enterprises access to customised communities. This capability complements the digital innovation platforms and services offered by Infosys. Bringing these capabilities together will see real-time organisational data connected to experience design, ultimately delivering seamless digital interactions to customers.
The Sounding Board also allowed respondents to freely contribute their own ideas and opinions. This uncovered a trend of rising expectations of speed and ease, with more responsive chatbots and greater integration also called out as potential improvements across digital services. In fact, ease and speed of use online was identified as a key driver of brand loyalty by three quarters of respondents, followed by transparency with customers which just under half selected. Providing human contact for troubleshooting interestingly ranked slightly higher for brand loyalty than digital contact.
Andrew Groth, Senior VP and Region Head at Infosys Australia and New Zealand said; “digital offers diversification and scale at a speed that’s just not possible in a physical environment, but the bar is high for effective experiences and customers will go elsewhere if their expectations are not met. To counter this, enterprises must be agile in their efforts to create seamless experiences that integrate with real-time organisational data – behaving as a live enterprise. Better yet brands will co-create with customers to provide increasingly human digital experiences as this is where current and future competitive advantage lies.”
In terms of what makes experiences more human, just under half of respondents pointed to interactive elements as contributing factor, followed by two fifths selecting personalised, predictive experiences. This is further reflected in quotes from respondents who, when asked to describe how they would improve digital services, imagined ‘a kind of mini me’, tech that can ‘anticipate my needs’, and a world where ‘everything is inter-connected’.
Respondents also indicated that technology has made experiences more accessible. Almost half stated they would like to see the continuation of free or low-cost access to work and leisure opportunities, with a similar proportion selecting more accessibility opportunities for a range of abilities and/or income.
Commenting on the research Professor Kimbal Marriott, Department of Human Centered Computing, Monash said; “over the next 5 to 10 years we’ll see the blurring of the physical and virtual. Augmented reality will reshape that relationship by overlaying the virtual on the physical, as will tangible computing which will see us interacting with physical objects as the computer interface. More AI and chatbots are also on the horizon, and I expect the impact of this on those with disabilities to be profound.”