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Delivering Digital

Digital Transformation: Ready, Fire, Aim

Business leaders risk failure as they charge ahead on digital transformation tactics before working out their strategy

New research indicates that many organizations rush haphazardly into digital transformation tactics, without a clear strategy in place. Most CxOs realize that in order to remain competitive they must digitize as many business processes as they can while also embracing emerging technologies. However, 45 percent of these business leaders admit to not knowing where to start with their digital transformation strategy

So says a study recently released by business process analysis software maker Celonis, conducted among 2,000 C-suite executives and business analysts.

That’s not even the headline. Consider this: roughly 80 percent of executives surveyed said they don’t review their internal processes before establishing their digital transformation tactics or goals.

Perhaps business leaders would be enjoying more success if they analyzed where their organizations stood and identified and prioritized areas that could use the most improvement.

Here are some more findings from the report:

  • Almost four in 10  business analysts said they are not regularly consulted to inform their organization’s transformation strategy.
  • Well over half of business leaders admitted that frontline workers are only involved in transformation initiatives because middle management or consultants tell them which changes to make.
  • Nearly two-thirds of leadership state they would feel more confident deploying their transformation strategy if they had a better picture of how their business is being run.

The survey also found that many businesses remain more tactical than strategic: 73 percent of C-suite executives cited AI/machine learning and automation as areas they want to maintain or increase investment. However, only 33 percent of senior leaders state that they plan to invest more in getting better visibility of their processes.

Business leaders are going to have to get more strategic, as the stakes are high in the few years ahead. This year’s Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index found that 78 percent of business respondents said digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organizations, yet more than half said they’ll struggle to meet their changing customer demands within five years, and 30 percent are worried their organizations will be left behind as a result.

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