While 50 per cent of businesses expect the NBN to change the way they do business, only 29 per cent of businesses are actually ready for this change, according to findings of a report conducted by Deloitte Access Economics and commissioned by Macquarie Telecom.

The NBN Business Readiness Survey in 2013 also found although one in two organisations expect the NBN to change the way they do business, only one in four believe themselves ready for these changes.

The survey looked at five key areas in which Australian businesses expect the NBN to change: the way they do business, working remotely, customer engagement, new customers and markets and access to new geographical markets.

While more than 50 per cent of organisations believe the NBN will change how they communicate with customers and clients, less than 20 per cent feel ready to deliver multi-channel contact centres that will allow them to do so. And though one in every two organisations expects the NBN to change where industries can do business, less than 25 per cent of businesses were convinced that its rollout would change where their customers were located.

According Ric Simes, Deloitte Access Economics partner, the largest constraint against readiness is management practice but adaption needs to happen regardless.

“Businesses need a strategy to maintain existing customers but they also need one so that they can add new customers and all of this is happening because of the change in consumer behaviour,” he said.

The report also found widespread teleworking is now front-of-mind for many Australian organisations: 49 per cent of businesses now expect the NBN to change where they are able to perform work compared to just 20 per cent who expected a change in their employment model in 2010. However, only 26 per cent of respondents were confident their managers could manage a remote workforce, the same number with a teleworking policy already in place.

Findings of Deloitte Access Economics’ Connected Small Business 2013 report revealed the main barriers for the adoption of new technology, such as the NBN, by businesses is because many of them are not clear on which actions they need to take, they’re challenged by the cost of risks of change and are uncertain of relevance of digital to their business.

“The time for fence-sitting about the NBN’s effects is over; what’s needed now is urgency of planning and execution,” said Chris Greig, Macquarie Telecom group executive of telecommunications. “Businesses must make the NBN a matter of boardroom discussion and take immediate steps to ready their technologies and policies, partnering with IT service providers who support and understand the increasing convergence of telecommunications networks and data hosting in the next evolution of our digital economy.”

One retailer embracing the changes of the NBN is Beaumont Tiles who believes it will open up opportunities to enhance the customer shopping experience, such as bringing in-store 3D visualisation to the consumer in the outlet. The technology, which will be facilitated by the NBN, will be able to give consumers a high definition 3D touchscreen to view the bathroom products from its catalogue.

“The NBN will transform the way we communicate and inspire our audience. We will be able to manage customers’ expectations better and deliver much more exciting content much more quickly,” Beaumont Tiles CIO, Paul Bogner, said.