Monday, August 26, 2019

Lack of alignment and collaboration holding back digital transformation

Aug 07. 2019
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By THE NATION

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A lack of strategic ownership is stalling digital transformation plans, NTT writes in its “Digital Means Business” report, explaining that just 11 per cent of organisations are satisfied with those in charge of spearheading digital transformation, despite the fact that almost three-quarters of them are already underway on their journey.

Organisations worldwide are achieving some success with digital transformation, but there’s still a strong belief that this evolution requires radical, far-reaching changes to achieve success. This, when combined with a lack of strong transformational leadership and focus on the need to change people, is holding many companies back:

According to the survey, some 71 per cent of organisations in the early stages of transformation still believe a complete restructuring of the business and operating model is the primary definition of digital transformation.

Only 49 per cent of respondents believe their leadership team has the right skills to manage the execution of digital transformation.

Lack of executive sponsorship or ownership is ranked as the top barrier to success.

The report underlines that this shortfall highlights the need for business leaders to change themselves, build a different environment, and set new behavioural priorities and performance indicators in order to drive a more proactive, tactical, and incremental approach to transformation.

The research also revealed a direct correlation between organisations’ ability to realise relevant, outcomes-driven value from digital transformation on a regular basis, and their digital maturity. Yet, there still exists a discernible sack of alignment between IT teams and the wider business:

Only 29 per cent of organizations are embracing digital transformation as a collaborative effort between business and IT. While 42 per cent of respondents say business and IT are delivering in a more integrated manner, supported in part with the introduction of a Chief Digital Officer function, only 12 per cent are highly satisfied that planning is flowing effectively through to execution.

And almost half of digital transformation projects are still IT-led.

“Organisations are still grappling with how to shape their business to capitalise on a connected future. Digital creates the opportunity for value to be constantly derived from transformation initiatives across the business. Organisations should focus less on perfecting a grand digital plan, and more on taking considered and iterative steps in their transformation journey to progress value and clarity of subsequent moves. For various reasons, an organisation is its own worst enemy, so any change has to be supported by pragmatic, self-aware leaders who are themselves changing,” NTT’s vice-president of Advanced Competencies, Wayne Speechly, noted.

The research surveyed over 1,150 executives, from 15 countries across North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific, and from 11 industry verticals. The results provide invaluable insight into how these leaders perceive the business opportunities presented by digital transformation, the delivery challenges experienced in realising a digital transformation strategy, and the value being achieved.

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