New report looks at successful digital transformation

Like so many buzzwords of the day, digital transformation appears to be something all organizations are undertaking, but few appear to be seeing the results of.  That’s certainly the conclusion of a recent study by SAP, which found that 84% of companies regard digital transformation as crucial, yet just 3% have actually finished any company-wide effort.

The paper went on to highlight the premium those companies that have managed to succeed in their transformation efforts obtain.  For instance, market share would be twice as high, with profitability some 30% higher for those leaders in digital transformation.

Stalled transformation

The study of over 3,000 senior executives from 17 countries found a significant level of variance between the best companies and those lagging behind.  The leaders of the most successful companies at digital transformation tended to have the following key characteristics.

Firstly they viewed digital transformation as a business project, not a technology project.  Some 96% of the best digital leaders regarded digital transformation as a core business goal, and this manifested itself in the way the company behaved towards customers, suppliers and partners.

Successful leaders also invested heavily in the skills of their workforce, whilst a focus on breakthrough technologies was also prominent among leading organizations, with a particular emphasis on areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things.

“Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it’s an essential driver of revenue, profit and growth,” SAP say.  “Executives need to move from simply understanding the high stakes, to activating complete end-to-end execution across their business.  This requires innovative breakthrough technologies, investing in digital skills, and retraining the existing workforce. The next two years will be a key inflection point, which will separate the digital winners from those left behind.”

All in all, there’s nothing truly groundbreaking in the work, and I’m not sure it has that much to change the historically low success rate for any change management project.  Do check it out though and see for yourself.