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July 27, 2016

Digital transformation projects gain traction but challenges remain

News: Major survey and report reveal how enterprises are engaging with digital transformation.

By Ellie Burns

Digital transformation is a phrase dominating the business and IT landscape. Used to describe a whole scale change to a business through the application of digital technology, digital transformation has long been plagued by the complaint that IT projects always run behind schedule. However, research by Sopra Steria suggests that this is no longer the case, with 83% of enterprises pleased with the pace at which their Digital Transformation projects have been delivered. 

The full report can be read here

The survey found that businesses are mostly using digital transformation processes to update systems and processes, primarily as a means to achieve cost reductions, and to increase customer engagement via an improved customer experience. 64% of enterprises were found to be deploying technologies to streamline processes, with a further 60% of enterprises focusing digital investment on the customer and 54% hoping to achieve a customer experience transformation.

However, 52% of enterprises are currently only executing one Digital Transformation project and although pleased with the pace of transformation, the survey suggests there is room for improvement. Richard Potter, Innovation and Digital Transformation Leader, Sopra Steria said: “perhaps what is most significant, however, is that whilst 52% of enterprises have only one digital project underway, they are moving at a much faster concept, to ‘at scale roll-out’ than before.  They are experimenting with a wide range of digital technologies and devices in order to achieve their business ambitions, as the agile nature of digital projects enable them to learn, remodel, and deploy, swiftly.  This brings an interesting competitive dynamic for enterprises who are still trying to decide how they apply digital intelligently in their organisations.  They need to determine if they wish to be an early adopter or fast follower.”

The Digital Transformation: Lessons learned from early initiatives research report, published in tandem with Kable, an industry-leading market research provider, found that 84% of the 120 FTSE 500 organisations surveyed believed that they could exploit digital technologies more effectively. This suggests that its still early days when it comes to digital transformation, despite early results and lessons learned from the Digital Transformation pioneers.

In addition to concerns about using digital more effectively in transformation programmes, the research also revealed that executives are concerned about the digital transformation skills gap. 54% of enterprises required an external partner to help them deploy their project, due to a lack of skills in-house, with a further 18% of projects solely funded and developed by sponsors in the line of business without any involvement from the IT department at all. 

Will Rhodes, Consulting Director, Kable said: “Interestingly, enterprises are very evenly spread across the defined stages of digital maturity. Another noteable finding, is that contrary to commonly held opinion, organisations’ own internal IT departments are identified as playing a significant role in the delivery of digital programmes – 82% cited IT as core to their business transformation success.  

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"Enterprises that brought in a third party with experience of delivering digital transformation programmes reported stronger governance and greater success.  This is partly due to a lack of available digital skills in the market but also reflects the importance of quickly accessing key skills and well developed governance frameworks, which all contribute to demonstrable a return on investment." 

Click here to download the whitepaper. 

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