While many global companies have a digital strategy, their CIOs seriously doubt their validity, new research has found. The numbers, published in a report carried out by Vanson Bourne for IT services firm HCL, have cast doubt on the general implementation of digital transformation (DT) strategies.
Digital transformation is the concept of revolutionising an organisation’s core components – business, organisational activities and other processes – to fully utilise the benefits of emerging technologies. By implementing this transformation in a strategic way, one study claimed that businesses can act as laboratories for a wider societal adoption to follow.
The new survey questioned 340 senior IT executives at large enterprises, revealing that while 70% of CIOs have a digital transformation strategy, only 10% have said they will fully deploy it. Additionally, in 78% of businesses that claimed to be implementing DT, the transformation has been deemed ‘piecemeal’.
“The problem is that, in many cases, these are isolated initiatives, often undertaken in response to narrowly defined issues and existing apart from any comprehensive digital strategy,” the report notes. “Only a third of respondents said they use methods such as design thinking, which looks at a customer’s overall experience with a company, in developing a digital transformation strategy.”
According to the report, one of the root causes lies in ‘company-wide neglect’ of strategy implementation, with 46% of CIOs surveyed conceding that their DT strategy does not cover the whole organisation. As a result, it might not seem surprising that only 26% of respondents claimed to be reaping the benefits of digital transformation.
The majority (89%) of CIOs surveyed cited the main problem as a lack of insight into their transformation plans or practical implementation. Adding to this, the report noted that the larger the organisation, the more difficult it is to gain insight into these processes. Indeed, the study found that while 79% of senior IT decision-makers at organisations with 3,000 – 5,000 employees claimed to have a formal DT strategy, only 60% of IT executives claimed the same at larger organisations with more than 5,000 employees.
The report notes: “To transform business processes in the manner that digital transformation demands, organisations first need to gain complete end-to-end visibility into the processes, the systems that support them and the people who make them run.”
But Anand Birje, CVP and Head of Digital and Analytics practice at HCL Technologies, indicated that the figures may be changing: “Enterprises are moving away from sporadic strategy and POCs to more comprehensive digital execution. One of the biggest findings of this survey was the gap between the strategy and execution as well as measurable outcomes.
“The positive findings are that the effective use of digital is possible with a combination of digital seed technologies, visibility into systems and process, and real-time data insight. The companies that use these elements will be ahead in realising the innovative processes these technologies can deliver.”