The top 3 obstacles to digital transformation

There are very few businesses that aren’t undergoing some form of digital transformation. As our founder, Ross Mason, points out, “Business as we know it is under enormous pressure…No company is too big to have the rug pulled from under it. It is no longer about the big eating the small; it is now about the fast eating the slow.” Businesses know that they have to change to keep up with the digital revolution, and they are depending on to deliver that transformation. 

But according to our recent survey of IT decision makers, digital transformation initiatives are beset by enormous challenges. These challenges are so great that only 18% of ITDMs surveyed are confident that they will meet this year’s goals. A majority of those surveyed said that they were less than halfway to reaching their objectives.

What are the top challenges to IT meeting its digital transformation goals? ITDMs identified the top three problem areas:

  1. Business and IT misalignment. IT continues to focus on tactical improvements and maintaining legacy infrastructure and systems, whereas the rest of the business is demanding more and more technology solutions to improve their performance. The capacity for IT to deliver is strained.
  2. Time constraints. While IT budgets are getting bigger, they can’t grow infinitely, and the demands of the business for technology are getting ever greater. IT needs to find a way to close the delivery gap and deliver more with the same amount of resources.
  3. Legacy infrastructure and systems. Rather than delivering innovative solutions to new problems, IT departments often find they have to spend their time maintaining legacy systems. The misalignment is clear: while 81% of ITDMs are still investing the same or more in legacy systems like Oracle and SAP, only 14% are using these technologies to fulfill line-of-business (LOB) requests and projects quickly.

These are big problems for IT to solve and requires not only technology solutions, but a culture shift both in how IT sees itself and how IT is viewed by the rest of the business. For true digital transformation to happen, it’s clear that IT can’t be the sole technology provider anymore. It has to enable the rest of the organization.

For more about what IT decision makers at global businesses are experiencing, take a look at the 2016 Connectivity Benchmark Report. And for some ideas on how to solve these challenges, take a look at our new model for the IT organization

Change is difficult, and our survey confirms that. But it is possible with a vision and a strategic partnership between IT and the rest of the business. The data shows that once IT achieves that partnership, great outcomes can occur.


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