Over a Quarter of Digital Transformation Projects Doomed to Fail

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Econocom’s latest research reveals a strong uptake in digital transformation projects, but many are failing…

Over a quarter of businesses (26%) have had digital transformation projects fail, suggesting there is some way to go before businesses can execute digital transformation projects in the confidence that they will succeed.

The findings from new research by Econocom, a European digital services company, suggest that an overwhelming majority of businesses are undergoing digital transformation. Almost two-thirds (62%) of businesses are in the process of implementing a digital transformation project with better customer service, cost savings and improved staff productivity named as the top three drivers. A further 18% have a digital transformation plan in place already, while 11% are thinking about it in the short term.

A lack of understanding of technology is named as the top reason for a failed digital transformation project by 51% of businesses, suggesting that better guidance is required around the technologies on offer. Almost four in 10 (39%) businesses said that selecting a solution that was not fit for purpose was the reason for project failure, further highlighting the requirement for stronger guidance around the available solutions. Lack of skills (31%) and lack of budget (23%) were also cited as barriers to success.

With such an appetite for transformation, businesses need to invest in the right technology, yet 44% of businesses have concerns over spending a large amount of money in a lump sum, 40% say they are afraid of making the wrong technology choice, while 38% state Brexit is holding them back.

“Digital transformation is an organisation-wide commitment that is costly and time intensive. Businesses need to make sure they’re choosing and implementing the right technology that will help them achieve their goals. This means consulting, not only with change and technology experts, but with staff and other stakeholders too. There is a definite drive to get this right, as well as find ways to mitigate any risk associated with the project, especially when it comes to technology investment,” says Chris Labrey, MD, Econocom UK & IRL.

The research also shows a desire for alternative funding models, such as ‘as-a-service’ or subscription models, which allow businesses to implement technology solutions that suit their specific requirements without spending a large amount of money in one go. In fact, 93% of IT and finance decision makers said they would use a model like this to fund digital transformation projects, while 17% are already doing so.

The research commissioned by Econocom and conducted by Censuswide surveyed 150 IT and finance decision makers in retail, legal and financial services companies in the UK, each with 100+ employees and revenue of £1m+, to determine their attitudes and opinions concerning digital transformation in the workplace.

James Wooster (COO, Glue42) recently shed a little light on the situation; 

“The fact is, digital transformation is simply a means to an end. The ‘end’ being the satisfaction of your clients and/or partners, and the consequential growth of revenue and profit. It is not surprising therefore, that the most successful transformation programs begin with the needs of the employees. In a wealth management business, this tends to be those financial advisors (FAs) who drive customer acquisition and pipeline growth.”

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