‘Many firms still in initial stages of digital transformation’

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on May 11, 2021

This Forrester study gives us a glimpse at how organisations are accelerating their digital transformation: Trent Mayberry, Chief Digital Officer, UST

A Forrester Consulting survey of 400 global enterprise decision-makers conducted on behalf of leading digital transformation company UST has found that many enterprises are still in their initial stages of the digital transformation journey.

Not only does digital transformation promise big benefits, but it also delivers. Yet, only half of respondents reported having a full strategy in place that seeks to evolve the business that way, a spokesman for UST said here, quoting from the study.

Latching on to legacy model

Unfortunately, 30 per cent of decision-makers have a more limited strategy in place that tacks digital elements on to an existing business model. This is despite the fact that successful digital transformation fuels revenue growth and digital leaders have advantage when it comes to customer outcomes, too.

Digital transformation initiatives have been found to fail due to issues of strategy and resources, the survey indicated. Organisations also grapple with lack of both financial and human resources and overly complex technology environments built of a patchwork of legacy systems.

Global representation of views

Survey respondents offered a global perspective, with 35 percent from Europe, 33 percent from North America, and 32 percent from Asia. Responses also reflect perception differences depending on company size, with 71 percent of participants coming from companies with revenues greater than $1 billion.

Trent Mayberry, Chief Digital Officer, UST, said that findings from this Forrester commissioned study reveals that organisations with advanced digital initiatives excel in generating customer value during the most difficult of times, demonstrating resilience in their ability to perform and transform.

“This study gives us a glimpse at how organisations are accelerating their digital transformation and provides recommendations for those on their path to digital maturity,” adds Mayberry.

An imperative option, now

Digital transformation has been on business leaders’ radar for some time now. But what was once considered optional is now, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, an imperative. Business must now reckon with the digital transformation imperative if they want not just to survive, but to thrive.

The power of digital transformation is not lost on advanced firms as they accelerate the adoption of cloud, automation, analytics, and AI/ML. However, no firm finds itself without any issues to tackle. The study found that each level of digital transformation maturity has its own specific set of challenges.

Respondents in the study clearly understand the power of these transformation efforts. Asked to rate themselves on a five-point scale digital maturity measure across categories, most indicated they are beginners, while only 20 per cent calling themselves advanced. All others fell in the intermediate group.

Typical problems to surmount

For ‘beginners,’ a conservative and unimaginative culture leads to an over-reliance on legacy tools, impeding progress and innovation. As for ‘advanced firms,’ they must go on to invest in security, compliance, and ecosystem management, the survey said.

There is no one thing that advanced digital business leaders do differently, the survey said. Rather, their laser focus on creating customer value allows them to effectively leverage advanced technology, partner services, and data to transform their business.

Digitally advanced firms use cloud to support business agility and operational effectiveness; au tomate technology infrastructure and operations; create new products and services with the help of advanced data analytics; and apply AI and ML across the business, the survey said.

Published on May 11, 2021

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