Although admitting that an inability to adapt to a new digital world could result in commercial failure, organizations struggle with obstacles that are slowing them down, such as a lack of a holistic understanding of the business, and are putting customer relationships and their ability to compete at risk, according to new research from Bizagi, a digital process automation software vendor.
The study, based on a poll of more than 1,000 respondents in North America, Europe and South America, revealed that 87 percent see digital transformation as a strategic challenge. In fact, 70 percent said they believe efforts to transform the business are undermined by internal complexity, and 51 percent said they are either resistant to or have mixed views toward transformational change.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) feel they neglect the implications and depth of systems change in their businesses when trying to build engaging services and user experiences.
Just 28 percent of respondents said their existing customer systems are highly agile, while 26 percent reported highly agile employee systems and only 21 percent described their operational systems in the same way.
"The most surprising finding was that although three-quarters of businesses recognize that transformation is necessary to avoid commercial failure, nine in 10 find digital transformation a significant challenge," Gustavo Gomez, Bizagi’s CEO, told eWEEK. "This shows that even though businesses understand the need for digital transformation, they are seriously challenged by the realities of delivering it."
Digital transformation is a particular problem for large, complex enterprises with disconnected legacy IT systems, he said. "These companies often discover that the pace of change is defined externally by their customers and a wave of disruptive, agile competitors. Our research shows that large, successful businesses are weighed down by the complexities and costs of upgrading legacy architecture."
The survey indicated that the main obstacles for businesses seeking rapid digital transformation relate to company culture, organizational complexity and the lack of processes that enable employees to engage, collaborate and innovate.
Eighty percent of respondents said that providing a better customer experience that understands the immediate needs and situation of the individual is essential to creating a competitive advantage.
The customer becomes even more important for businesses with high levels of digital change already in progress. In fact, 79 percent cited changes in customer expectation as the key driver for change.
"Today’s enterprises need a smarter, faster way to introduce business agility, enabling business and IT teams to collaborate and rapidly experiment with solutions," Gomez said. "They can then avoid the significant business challenges that often accompany traditional approaches to transformation. Until they understand this new approach to rapid digital change, the percentage of organizations struggling with digital transformation is unlikely to fall."