The APQC Blog

Why Companies are Failing at Digital Transformation

One of the top competitive issues facing companies today is the need to become an agile, digital business. Yet, most companies are failing to make the transformation. 

An important new study, just released by the Business Performance Innovation Network, highlights major roadblocks standing in the way of most companies as they seek to adapt to a new generation of technologies and digital business opportunities.  The study is based on surveys of both business leaders and IT professionals around the world. Entitled Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity, the study demonstrates large gaps between the leaders and laggards in digital transformation, a divide that will become a major competitive challenge for many companies in the years ahead.

The BPI Network study finds that IT organizations currently suffer from major shortages of skilled professionals in the very areas that businesses most want to accelerate development and innovation.  Both business executives and IT professionals say their companies’ top desires are for faster deployment of new applications and customer experiences, as well as more strategic contributions from IT.  However, IT workers say their biggest weaknesses are long-term planning, application development, data analytics and software engineering. 

More than 80 percent of frontline IT workers say they spend over 50 percent of their time troubleshooting and maintaining legacy systems instead of driving innovation. And 17 percent say they spend 90 percent of their time on routine maintenance tasks.

The survey’s major findings reveal:

•  Only 35 percent of respondents rate their company’s ability to adapt to new transformative technologies as good or very good.

• Over 70 percent of IT workers report they have not even begun or are just “getting started” on the road to IT transformation.

• Just 15 percent have a clear and detailed plan for transformation. Over 80 percent say their plans provide only general direction, need updating or don’t exist at all.

• Almost 45 percent said improved collaboration between IT groups and business leaders is critically needed. Only 18 percent said there are active cross-functional teams in their companies today.  Another 14 percent said they rarely speak with business managers or speak only out of necessity.

To find out more about this BPI Network research sponsored by Dimension data download the entire Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What’s Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals report.

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