As Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January this year, “the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”
Never has this been truer, and the signs are all positive for the marketplace; on the whole economies are growing, stock markets are climbing and employment is healthy. ICT spending remains on track with positive momentum, in line with gross domestic product (GDP) and general business and consumer sentiment, and the benefits to be derived from digital transformation are clear to the majority of CIOs.
And yet this digital transformation is not happening as quickly as predicted for a large number of organisations, with fears that some organisations could get left behind or, worse still, go out of business. Technology is now seen as not only enabling digital business, but actually disrupting business so is now both an enabler and a disruptor. Buyer demand for business outcomes is driving new expectations for service providers to respond. This is forcing service providers like ourselves to be more responsive and agile, and develop new roadmaps to chart our course.
Digital transformation is the critical response needed to meet rising customer expectations, deliver individualised experiences at scale, and operate at the speed of the market. According to our fifth annual global CIO survey of almost 900 CIOs around the globe, over 60% of executives believe they are behind in their digital transformation.
The CIO survey highlighted where digital transformation and CIOs’ plans for digital transformation in 2018 took centre stage. Overall, the Logicalis survey tells a story of slow progress, with CIOs aware of the barriers and plotting ways to overcome them.
CIOs globally believe legacy and/or complex infrastructure, organisational culture and security, plus consequent issues like cost and skills, are the main barriers to digital transformation.
However, the benefits of digital transformation are clear to the majority of CIOs. They understand that digital opens up a wealth of possibilities, from new customer interfaces and experiences to greater operational efficiency. Those able to derive actionable insight from analytics that seamlessly harness market, customer, operational and financial data will be first to market with new products and services, enhanced customer experience and even new business models.
Progress towards full digital enablement may be slow, but CIOs are delivering new digital services and capabilities, albeit in reactive mode, as they respond to business demand and market dynamics.
They understand the scale of the digital transformation challenge and they are prepared to look outside for help, to trusted partners able to take on the heavy lifting of day to day IT and to simplify technology in creating environments in which digital enablement can flourish.