In a previous blog post, I unpacked the latest buzz word in the tech world, digital transformation, and what it means for businesses in the UK. But while many UK businesses are investigating and adopting digital technology, others are experiencing challenges. So what are these challenges and how are the early adopters tackling these issues? Sopra Steria surveyed 120 FTSE 500 companies to find out.
Our research showed that 84% of businesses currently think they could be doing more with digital. This shows there is a real appetite in the UK to try and get the most out of digital. However, it also highlights the complex challenges that lie behind succeeding with digital. The most common barriers to digital success were integration with existing systems and infrastructure (27%), management culture (26%) and skills gaps – particularly in the design phases of a programme (16%).
To overcome such barriers, nearly two thirds of businesses were using external partners or third parties to help them deploy their digital projects. Our research showed that whilst the use of third parties was primarily to help fill the skills gap, it also provided additional benefits such as stronger governance. It also, on the whole, led to more successful transformation programmes.
Interestingly – and encouragingly – once organisations had overcome the initial barriers and had taken the decision to initiate a digital programme, the implementation ran in line with expectations – something very rarely heard of in the IT industry. Delivery times were quick, with 83% of businesses saying they were pleased with the pace at which digital projects were being delivered.
Right now, 52% of businesses have at least one digital project underway. These are the innovators and experimenters who will lead the way in Digital Transformation and win early competitive advantage. They have shown the way to overcoming the barriers to digital transformation success. Those who fail to follow will fall quickly behind. Doing nothing is no longer an option.