EXCLUSIVE: European businesses say digital transformation is critical to success

By Kirti Khanna

European business leaders agree that digital transformation is critical to their future success, yet a survey published today by Fujitsu reveals that most companies lack a clear strategy for reaching this goal – and the majority still see the whole digitalization process as a gamble.

The year 2016 is widely tipped by industry pundits as the “year of digital transformation”, and three quarters of organizations agree it is a business priority. Gartner analyst Michael Burkett confirms: “Digital business is shifting from a future strategic vision by IT leaders and digital leaders to providing a real competitive edge today.”

Fujitsu’s research reveals a huge amount of industry-wide optimism in digital transformation. Executives are confident in their own organization’s ability to progress transformation projects and the overwhelming majority are in favor of moving even faster. There is also widespread agreement that failing to digitalize fast enough will lead to a sweeping range of penalties including loss of productivity, reduced business responsiveness to the market and problems with customer retention and loyalty.

Although it is clearly recognized that digital transformation impacts the top line, in terms of how organizations create value for their customers, Fujitsu’s research also uncovers huge disconnects in terms of strategic priorities for digital projects. Among the key findings:

  • One in three respondents agrees that digital priorities are fully aligned within their organization
  • Every second business leader thinks digitalization is a job best left to the IT department
  • One in three executives think they are already over-spending on digital projects
  • Only one in four is “extremely confident” in advising on the right choices.

“When you scratch the surface, business optimism on digital transformation in fact looks more like bravado,” said Duncan Tait, CEO, EVP and Head of EMEIA at Fujitsu. “Digitalization is clearly hugely beneficial to businesses, although the current sentiment is more about conflict, confusion and imbalance. Fujitsu’s research has clearly identified that only one in every four IT decision makers are actually confident in their digital decisions, and two in every three even consider their digital transformation projects to be a gamble.

“Digital transformation is increasingly core to societal and economic stability and in order to thrive, businesses will need to accelerate the pace at which they bring technology and new ideas together,” adds Tait. “However, the lack of clear ownership and conflicting priorities is a barrier to success. Fujitsu is focused on supporting customers on their journey to digital transformation and in enabling customers to achieve balance, both in order for them to thrive in a digital world as well as to transform their businesses without disruption.”

Fujitsu defines transformation as bridging the digital disconnect through the seamless integration of new front-end experiences with processes and information at the core operational level. This process is fundamental to future business, yet many companies clearly fail to appreciate the risks of attempting a poorly-planned implementation. Finding the right balance is unique for every customer, instead of being a linear process or about doing one thing or another.

What’s more is that in order to be truly digital, organizations must be digitally-enabled from end to end, by building new digital front-end experiences and seamlessly connecting these to the back-end systems and infrastructure that enable them.





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