Survey reveals half of all business leaders remain confused by ‘digital transformation’

A new survey has revealed that while more than 86 per cent of business leaders think digital transformation is necessary within their organisation only half feel that they fully understand it.

The findings, announced ahead of Code Computerlove’s ‘Leading your business through digital transformation’ event tomorrow (Thursday 16 June) also revealed that 66 per cent of those questioned are leading a business that’s either going through digital transformation or plan to, yet less than half believed that their digital transformation is being measured.

The most popular way businesses are transforming digitally is by updating an old system through a digital evolution process (65 per cent) while 29 per cent are investing in a complete new platform. 42 per cent claimed that a new data and CRM system was part of their transformation process.

47 per cent are investing in internal retraining or recruitment of personnel to deliver change, and 41 per cent are implementing a change programme in partnership with a digital or creative agency. 29 per cent are using a business change consultancy.

The survey of more than 1000 UK business leaders and senior directors also asked participants what were the biggest obstacles to their business achieving its digital goals.

‘Cost and lack of funding’ were the most popular response followed by ‘lack of skills’ and ‘no-one to lead the digital transformation’ within the organisation. Another popular answer was ‘lack of time to dedicate to the process’ and that ‘replacing their outdated IT system would be too major to change’.

One fifth of those questioned claimed not knowing what to implement and lack of strategy was a major barrier, while 20 per cent of those questioned also thought that risk was one of the biggest obstacles to their organisation achieving their digital goals.

Only 35 per cent of senior directors believe their board has a strong grasp on the full potential of digital channels in their organisation, with too much conflicting information cited as the main issue for deciding where to allocate digital spend.

Addressing the survey’s findings, Louis Georgiou from Code Computerlove said: “Digital transformation is such a hot topic but we find that senior decision makers and heads of businesses are feeling quite overwhelmed with the amount of conflicting information out there and choice of how to evolve their business in the most effective and relevant way. Our survey revealed some useful insight into digital transformation ahead of our discussion and more in depth look into business needs during our event.”

Code Computerlove is holding a director-level breakfast briefing in conjunction with the IoD (Institute of Directors). The session will include first hand reports from Asda’s head of digital marketing, Nick Bamber, Intlery’s chief executive Gareth James (previously CIO of The Hut Group & chief architect at MoneySuperMarket.com), Sarah Jordan, digital transformation consultant with the MS Society and Ed Relf, chief executice of Laundrapp, on some of the triumphs and pitfalls of leading a business through a digital transformation.

Code Computerlove will also explain how to de-risk the process with seven simple steps. The presentations will be followed by the opportunity for attendees to discuss their own experiences with fellow business owners and senior level directors from the region and UK.

The event will be held at Code’s office at Sevendale House, Manchester.

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Michael Feeley

Michael Feeley is The Drum Network's consultant journalist, advising and assisting member agencies on their editorial submissions and contributions to The Drum.

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