Digital transformation 'required to survive'

Written by Peter Walker

Almost 80 per cent of business leaders say digital transformation is a strategic priority and are keen to exploit its full potential, according to Vodafone.

The telecoms company surveyed 2,001 business leaders across the UK, from sole traders to large enterprises and the public sector, finding that a fifth have already successfully implemented digital transformation projects. More than half believe they are making good progress (53 per cent) while 69 per cent recognise that their organisation will not survive if they fail to embrace digital transformation.

Of those business which see digital as a low-priority, only 17 per cent are very confident about their future growth, but for those which see digital transformation as a high-priority, this figure almost triples to 50 per cent.

The report highlights that organisations are prioritising digital transformation to increase efficiency (39 per cent), improve customer experience (32 per cent) and increase productivity (41 per cent).

Anne Sheehan, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said that the smallest digital steps can have a real impact on the growth and success of an organisation. “Implementing the right new technology is helping businesses become smarter, more creative and more efficient.”

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of business leaders have been able to reach new customers or user segments; 30 per cent have seen better customer experience; 28 per cent have increased customer satisfaction; and 22 per cent report higher staff motivation.

More than half (57 per cent) of organisations say that they are planning to spend more than £100,000 on digital transformation in the next two years. In companies with more than 5,000 employees, 56 per cent expect their investment to exceed £1 million.

Organisations are exploring a range of technologies in which to invest: real-time data analytics tops the table for three quarters of businesses, followed by unified communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.

However, businesses report that they face challenges too. The majority of businesses cite the cost of new technology as their biggest challenge (17 per cent), followed by dealing with legacy IT systems while new systems are introduced (12 per cent) and lack of budget (12 per cent).

The research was conducted online by Circle Research in August with respondents involved in strategy and/or technology decision making at their organisation.