1 in 4 Businesses Find It Difficult to Keep Up with Digital Developments
January 17, 2024

Matt Cloke

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For businesses today, the pace of technology can often feel at odds with what’s possible in the real world. In fact, according to a research report by Endava and IDC, exactly one in four businesses still find it difficult to keep pace with developments in digital technology, with a majority (88%) reporting that 50% or less of their digital transformation projects over the last 12 months actually met expected goals and outcomes.

The report Leveraging the Human Advantage for Business Transformation, features insights from over 600 business leaders around the world who are actively navigating digital transformation journeys. It explores the roadblocks, tactics, and outcomes of digital transformation efforts across these businesses, while giving insight into the latest strategies for integrating artificial intelligence and automation technologies.

A key takeaway for business leaders is that dealing with digital change requires more than domain expertise alone. It demands a deep understanding of organizational dynamics, strong relationships with technology partners and a people-centric approach to business. The report data also points to a clear need for human-centricity when investing in digital transformation efforts.

Other key insights from Endava’s Business Transformation report include:

Reduced competitiveness: 62% of organizations reported lower technical maturity and increased time to market (compared to their competitors) as the resulting impacts of failed digital transformation projects.

Wasted investments altogether: With such high failure rates, 59% felt their organization’s investment in digital transformation projects in the last 12 months had been wasted.

Top reasons for stunted success: Limited employee buy-in (39%), conflicting opinions from leadership (36%) and lack of internal collaboration (33%) were cited as key reasons for failure. Organizations often underestimate the criticality of employee buy-in. Effort must be made to enable employees to see the benefits and value of the initiative as they will be tasked with making it work.

Employee experience at risk: 50% of organizations reported that staff attrition has increased when digital transformation projects are unsuccessful. A workforce frustrated with its daily activities will not be motivated to excel when it is critical to do so. If left unaddressed, there is a risk of losing experienced talent that possesses deep knowledge of the business and its customers, which can potentially leave significant gaps in the organization’s capabilities which will be costly in terms of both money and time.

Using tech to upskill humans: 55% of organizations believe that digital transformation investments should be focused on upskilling staff and improving communication.

AI remains strong as a productivity multiplier: One in two organizations globally have deployed or are currently running a proof-of-concept AI project. Intelligence is becoming a primary source of value creation, in which AI is a key accelerator of business change.

Digital transformation initiatives are capable of delivering a positive impact for enterprises; optimized processes, reduced costs, increased revenues and the creation of new revenue streams are the leading outcomes that enterprises are deriving from such investments in digital transformation.

But to reap those rewards, business strategies must evolve in response to changing market dynamics and disruptions, customer demands and technological developments. The era of digital transformation is evolving into the era of the digital business, and enterprises must operate with a digital-first mantra as they seek to create, develop and run entirely digital products and services.

Matt Cloke is Chief Technology Officer at Endava
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