The c-suite is paralysed with fear, finds new report on digital transformation

Report: Digital Transformation: How Will Consumer Interests Drive Disruption?

Senior board members of companies are not only struggling to cope with digital transformation; most CMOs are not even having these business conversations, according to a new report.

Business leaders are feeling the pressure to keep up with new technologies and are struggling to enforce digital strategies, according to the report by The Drum, in partnership with leading content delivery network (CDN) and cloud services provider, Akamai.

The report, Digital Transformation: How Will Consumer Interests Drive Disruption? is based on a roundtable summit held at the Drum where marketing experts from brands and agencies discussed how digital disruption is impacting marketers in the industry.

It found that senior stakeholders are not embracing change because “it’s too risky” and while there are varying opinions about what the future c-suite will look like; most of the attendees agreed that the chief digital officer (CDO) role is transitional and likely to become redundant.

But while it will take time for companies to adjust to the unknown digital future, the opportunities to create more personalised campaigns created by the explosion of data are immense. The rise of new technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and intelligent machines will create exciting advertising experiences for consumers.

In addition, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to be enforced next year will mean that consumers will gain more control over their data – flipping the old advertising model on its head. As Andrew Grill, practical futurist says in the report: “When the consumer owns its data, a company like Diageo or Nile will have to ask the consumer, ‘Do we have permission to advertise to you?’ and they will be able to say no.”

The report contains contributions from Rafe Blandford, mobile strategist at DigitasLBi; Jerry Daykin, head of digital media partnerships at Diageo; Natalie Gross, managing partner TH_NK & president of BIMA; Marc Curtis, head of labs at TMW Unlimited; Andrew Grill, practical futurist; Nicole Yershon, consultant and former head of Ogilvy Labs at Innovation People; Natalie Billingham, vice president of media sales and UK director at EMEA Akamai; and Luca Collacciani, senior director, Web & Security, EMEA at Akamai.

International Data Corporation (IDC) have predicted digital transformation spending to reach $1.7 trillion worldwide, a 42% increase from 2017. But 59% of companies remain at a “digital impasse” and are struggling to transition into becoming a digital-native organisation. A part of the transition challenge is nurturing the culture required to fully embrace digital transformation.

The full report is available to download here.

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