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October 31, 2016

Company boards take charge of digital transformation in fight for survival

Big data is expected to be a huge driver of digital transformation.

By Alexander Sword

UK company boards are taking a leading role in digital transformation as organisations grapple with their fears of being digitally disrupted in the next two years.

61 percent of business leaders believe that digital strategies in their organisations are originating from the board, while 48 percent of CIO and IT leaders believe the same, according to a Microsoft report entitled Digital Transformation: The Age of Innocence, Inertia or Innovation?.

This compares to figures of 6 percent and 31 percent respectively that believed that digital strategy had originated from the CIO or IT department.

digital transformationHowever, only 47 percent of business leaders agreed or strongly agreed that their organisation had a clear or formal digital transformation strategy.

This number was higher amongst the IT department, at 66 percent.

This came as 65 percent of respondents said that they expected their sector to be significantly disrupted over the next 2 years.

The main driver behind digital transformation was believed to be improving the customer experience. The numbers were highest amongst financial services organisations, at 68 percent, and retail, at 67 percent.

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Improving efficiency followed, with figures of 61 percent for financial services and the public sector, and 58 percent for other services and manufacturing.

Over half of financial services and retail organisation believed that digital transformation projects would be needed simply to survive as an organisation.

The research also revealed what forms the respondents expected digital disruption to take. They rated each technology trend on a scale of 1 to 9 with 9 indicating the most important or disruptive.

A shift to analytics and big data was rated as the most significant technology trend, with cloud computing following closely behind

The Internet of Things as well as sensors and machine-to-machine technology were seen as the next most significant. AI and machine learning, smart digital assistants, virtual or augmented reality, robots and 3D printing followed.

The survey of 1013 respondents from UK organisations was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Microsoft in September 2016.

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