Majority of organisations expect to fail in four years if digital transformation approach is unsuccessful

digital transformation

Despite spending millions of dollars on digital transformation in the past year, enterprises still feel they are at significant risk of being left behind by their industries, research shows.

In the survey of digital transformation leaders for enterprises across the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany, 80 per cent are at risk of being left behind by digital transformation while 54 per cent believe organisations that don’t keep up with digital transformation will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor within four years. Furthermore, IT leaders are also at risk, with 73 per cent believing they could be fired as the result of a poorly implemented or failing digital project.

The research found that 89 per cent of enterprises say their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption is only a matter of time, even after spending an average of $5.7 million on digital transformation in the past year.

Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation – 95 per cent say that it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience.

Furthermore, the research revealed that while 80 per cent of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organisation’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 per cent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements.

Databases are currently a clear handicap to this improvement – 84 per cent have had digital projects cancelled, delayed, or reduced in scope because of the limitations of their legacy database.

Matt Cain, CEO of Couchbase commented: “Our study puts a spotlight on the harsh reality that despite allocating millions of dollars towards digital transformation projects, most companies are only seeing marginal returns and realising this trajectory won’t enable them to compete effectively in the future.

“With 87 per cent of IT leaders concerned that their revenue will drop if they don’t significantly improve their customers’ experiences, it’s critical that they focus on projects designed to increase customer engagement. Key to succeeding here is selecting the right underlying database technology that can leverage dynamic data to its full potential across any platform and deliver the personal, highly responsive experiences that customers are demanding today.”

Factors affecting digital transformation

Ninety percent of IT leaders said their plans to use data for new digital services were limited by factors such as the complexity of using multiple technologies or a lack of resources, as well as reliance on legacy database technology.

Survey respondents identified specific issues with legacy databases that could lead to digital projects under-performing:

  • 86 per cent cited a lack of agility when developing new applications
  • 61 per cent were unable to scale applications to suit demand
  • Enterprises have to wait an average of 28 hours before their databases could take advantage of data, which makes real-time data use an unattainable goal
  • Only 19 per cent believe their current database would be up to the task of supporting modern technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and Internet of Things

“Historically, some enterprises haven’t done well at using data to improve customer experience, which is why digitally native companies have made some giant inroads in traditionally brick & mortar businesses,” said John A. De Goes, CTO of SlamData Inc. “If all enterprises want to thrive, they need the confidence, ability, and technology to reinvigorate the customer experience. They need a revolution in the way they use data, to transform the customer experience and provide a data-driven way of truly engaging with end-users.”