6 Indicators of a Successful Digital Transformation
March 04, 2020
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Most (93%) enterprises are undergoing some kind of digital transformation driven primarily by a desire to cut costs (77%) and improve customer experience (71%), according to the State of Enterprise Digital Transformation survey conducted by Hanover Research and commissioned by AHEAD.

Yet of those surveyed, almost half (42%) are struggling to achieve success as they fall behind schedule or their efforts stall altogether.

The survey revealed the most common and difficult challenges of enterprise digital transformations are legacy systems (36%) and technical debt (24%). As such, 67% of respondents cited infrastructure as a big part of their digital transformation strategy.

An analysis of the survey results revealed six factors that correlate with digital transformation success.

1. Dedicated Leadership

The survey found that 83% of digital transformations that are on track or ahead of schedule are led by a CIO, CEO, CDO, or CTO. As digital transformation touches every part of an enterprise, company-wide buy-in is critical.

2. All-In Approach

Transformations that are on track are 30% more likely to be structured as full-scale change initiatives.

Because digital operations are often so interconnected, piecemeal and partial transformations can often be siloed and result in limited impact on the factors driving the transformation.

3. Defined Digital Roadmap

92% of transformations that are on target or ahead of schedule have a defined strategy and roadmap that includes IT infrastructure and operations.

4. Alignment Between Infrastructure and Apps

Enterprises powered by an integrated DevOps approach are 43% more likely to see success in digital transformation efforts. To avoid bottlenecks, enterprises should audit DevOps functions before undergoing digital transformation.

5. Platform Mindset

Businesses that include IT infrastructure as a big part of their digital transformation are 36% more likely to have a successful transformation. As the backbone of a digital change initiative, an enterprise's infrastructure determines how far the transformation will go and its limits.

6. Commitment to Intelligent Operations

Companies that monitor IT performance in real time and remediate issues quickly are 24% more likely to undergo a successful digital transformation

Companies that monitor IT performance in real time and remediate issues quickly are 24% more likely to undergo a successful digital transformation. Further, the survey found that enterprises are more likely to see success in digital transformation if they have confidence in their abilities to perform highly in areas of automation, monitoring, hybrid cloud models and integrated security.

Tom Pohlmann, Head of Customer Success and Marketing at AHEAD, concluded: "Transformations are complex and often involve conflicting objectives like cost cutting alongside customer experience improvements. Without a strong foundation on which to build, run and innovate, transformation efforts will fail."

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