Digital Transformation Requires Radical, Far-Reaching Changes To Achieve Success

According to NTT Ltd’s 2019 Digital Means Business Report, only 11 percent of organisations are satisfied with those in charge of spearheading digital transformation despite the fact that 75 percent of organisations are already underway.

The lack of strong transformational leadership and focus on the need to change people is holding many companies back:

  • 71 percent of organisations in the early stages of transformation still believe a complete restructuring of the business and operating model is the primary definition of digital transformation.
  • Only 49 percent of respondents believe their leadership team has the right skills to manage the execution of digital transformation.
  • Lack of executive sponsorship or ownership is ranked as the top barrier to success.

Hence, the need for business leaders to change themselves, build a different environment, and set new behavioural priorities and performance indicators are required to drive a more proactive, tactical, and incremental approach to transformation.

The research also reveals there’s a direct correlation between organisations’ ability to realise relevant, outcomes-driven value from digital transformation on a regular basis, and their digital maturity. Yet, there still exists a discernible lack of alignment between IT teams and the wider business:

  • Only 29 percent of organisations are embracing digital transformation as a collaborative effort between business and IT.
  • While 42 percent of respondents say business and IT are delivering in a more integrated manner, supported in part with the introduction of a Chief Digital Officer function, only 12 percent are highly satisfied that planning is flowing effectively through to execution.
  • Almost half (49 percent) of digital transformation projects are still IT-led.

Wayne Speechly, VP of Advanced Competencies, NTT Ltd says “Organisations are still grappling with how to shape their business to capitalise on a connected future. Digital creates the opportunity for value to be constantly derived from transformation initiatives across the business. Organisations should focus less on perfecting a grand digital plan, and more on taking considered and iterative steps in their transformation journey to progress value and clarity of subsequent moves. For various reasons, an organisation is its own worst enemy, so any change has to be supported by pragmatic, self-aware leadership who are themselves changing.”

The research surveyed over 1,150 executives, from 15 countries across North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific, and from 11 industry verticals. The results provide invaluable insight into how these leaders perceive the business opportunities presented by digital transformation, the delivery challenges experienced in realising a digital transformation strategy, and the value being achieved.


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