While many enterprises can talk a good digital transformation game, not as many can walk the digital transformation walk. As Thomas Davenport and George Westerman wrote in their Harvard Business Review article “Why So Many High-Profile Digital Transformations Fail,” digital transformation “is not just a thing that you can you can buy and plug into the organization.”
Then went on: “It [digital] is multi-faceted and diffuse, and doesn’t just involve technology. Digital transformation is an ongoing process of changing the way you do business. It requires foundational investments in skills, projects, infrastructure, and, often, in cleaning up IT systems. It requires mixing people, machines, and business processes, with all of the messiness that entails. It also requires continuous monitoring and intervention, from the top, to ensure that both digital leaders and non-digital leaders are making good decisions about their transformation efforts.”
That’s as good a summary of the people, processes, and technology that have to be in place for successful digital transformation that I’ve read. But where do enterprises stand today, and how do they execute?
Futurum Research published its report yesterday, sponsored by software-defined IT operations provider Zenoss. “Digital Transformation – 9 Key Insights” is based on a survey of 500 executives and IT professionals.
“Digital transformation is an ongoing process of leveraging digital technologies to build flexibility, agility, and adaptability into business processes,” said Daniel Newman, founder and principal analyst at Futurum, in a statement.
How do enterprises do that? The report found five keys to success, ranked here:
- The implementation of digital technologies
- The automating of IT operations to deliver better digital experiences
- The adoption of advanced infrastructure, such as cloud and employing hyperconvergence
- The transformation and delivering unique customer experience
- Providing skills and training at the organizational level
Other report findings include:
- 48 percent of organizations have their digital transformation strategies being led by the CEO
- 71 percent described digital transformation as being at the center of all business decisions
- 65 percent are adopting agile development tools to accelerate speed to market and improve business agility
- 37 percent cited blind spots in IT infrastructure as their top concern when contemplating digital transformation initiatives
- 33 percent cited their ability to scale monitoring as the top concern
The good news is that more organizations are leading their digital transformation efforts from the top, and that digital is now central to strategy at nearly three-quarters of enterprises. But the report also shows challenges remain as these organizations make the investments to put into place the infrastructure and systems governance and visibility they need to remain fast and agile to market demands.