When I first came across the term digital transformation, I assumed it meant using technology in the workplace. I hadn’t considered the impact that digitisation is having in the business world. We all use a computer; I thought this was enough. I didn’t understand what this term really meant and the impact it is having.
Digital transformation is the process of transforming businesses so that they can make use of digital services. The example I was given is paying a solicitor’s fee online rather than going down with a cheque to the office. This is primarily in a commercial context, but can be used by other organisations, such as the government.
A study named Digital transformation: disrupt or be disrupted? was the result of a survey of more than 300 executives in the US and UK. The survey concluded that 70% of IT stakeholders believe their business executives are taking too long to incorporate digital transformation. This is in comparison to 38% of business executives believing the technology team was holding the company back.
Half of the overall companies surveyed felt they would ‘disrupt’ the industry they were in whereas the other half felt behind and that they would be ‘disrupted’. It tended to be the technology companies in the former and government and non-profit organisations in the latter.
The general trend from the survey was that the larger companies were confident that they would be the disrupter. 60% of IT stakeholders in companies with more than 5,000 employees said that they were more likely to disrupt.
The main barrier to digital transformation according to the survey was the lack of budget as well as people resource investment. However, it is important to note that a close third was the lack of vision among business leaders and no willingness for the company culture to embrace digital transformation.
It is very important as a business not to get caught up in this trend. In today’s context, flexibility is key.
Things to Look Out For:
The CIF conducted a similar survey where nearly half of all business leaders think that their existing business models will cease to exist within the next five years. If you are a part of a business, this need to be kept in mind. It is not just your company which will be experiencing change.
This is happening quickly. More than half of all organisations think that their industry will be disrupted within the next two years.
The study concluded that acting on this is the only option. Yet, only 55% of the private sector business decision makers think their senior leadership are willing to disrupt their existing businesses to grow and compete in the future. As a business, it is important to be aware that this is the trend for companies and to ‘disrupt’ as a company means flexibility and willingness to accept change to the business structure.
What can be done?
I still do not completely understand digital transformation, but the studies I have researched consistently show dissatisfaction with executive flexibility. From this, it seems that the business world is changing and it is necessary for companies to adapt to this to have a competitive edge. Over 80% of companies have switched to using the cloud. It may be suitable to consider a cloud-based platform here. Alternatively, find out how to optimise cloud usage for your company by clicking here.