Are Companies Investing in Digital Strategies?

By Brian Solis, Principal Analyst

Audience

Intended for digital strategists and executive leadership responsible for driving digital transformation for their organization.

Executive Summary

In the new report, “The 2017 State of Digital Transformation,” we surveyed more than 500 executives and digital strategists to understand the current challenges and opportunities they are facing as they undergo a digital transformation.

This is the third annual report on the topic from Altimeter principal analyst Brian Solis. This year builds on his 2016 research and reveals how, why, and to what extent businesses are investing in digital strategies, initiatives, and operational models. The good news is a growing number of businesses are investing in innovation strategies to uncover new growth opportunities. The bad news is most companies surveyed are ignoring the pervasive changes happening to connected consumers’ buying behaviors.

Key insights from the report include:

  • While businesses cite “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as the top driver of digital transformation, fewer than half invest in understanding digital customers.
  • Some executives are beginning to own digital transformation efforts, and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is most often at the helm (28%). As all companies increasingly become “technology companies,” the roles of the CIO and IT department are more important than ever — but true success in digital transformation is an enterprise-wide, cross-functional endeavor.
  • Companies and their change agents still face big challenges in the pursuit of digital transformation, including a lack of digital talent and expertise (31.4%), the perception that digital transformation is a cost center and not an investment (31%), and general culture issues (31%).
  • While companies are making attempts to modernize employees’ skillsets for a digital economy with new training programs (62%), only about half are investing in new digital talent. The employee experience is a crucial, yet often overlooked element of a successful digital transformation.

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