It is certainly true that digital transformation has been one of the key concepts on many enterprise leaders' minds in 2019. It's easy to understand why: Trading in slow, inefficient legacy IT infrastructure – hardware and software alike – for cutting-edge tools like the internet of things, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and all of the devices and other tools necessary to run them carries an undeniable appeal.
However, recent studies have also confirmed that the global business community has a long way to go before it can realize widespread digital transformation, in part because too many firms are simply following the blueprints of others. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach that will work for every organization – companies need customized plans. They also need bold leadership from C-level staff, which YES Partners can help them find.
A small percentage of digital transformation "leaders"
Dell Technologies recently released the results of its "Digital Transformation Index II" report, conducted in 2018 by the Vanson Bourne firm. Only 5% of global businesses are what the computer manufacturer classifies as "Digital Leaders," making bold, trend-setting moves toward an increasingly digital future.
The central thesis of Dell's findings is, essentially, that most organizations (31% worldwide) take a middle-of-the-road approach to digital transformation, implementing changes at a gradual pace and hedging their bets by avoiding risks. Also, while the percentage of "digital laggards" – companies mired in legacy systems with no clear plans to advance – is fairly low at 9%, a much larger 30% are those only adopting the bare minimum of digital and following the path of absolute least resistance.
Finding the best way to digitally move forward
It's not as if there's little interest in digital transformation – 78% of respondents to Dell's survey believed it "should be more widespread throughout their organization." Factors they cited as being in their way include security concerns, budgetary and resource concerns, lack of skilled in-house talent and complications imposed by government regulation. But creative stagnation may be just as big a problem. Perhaps this stems from the plurality of articles focusing on one factor that can drive digital transformation: as examples, review Advertising Age's piece on the central role of content strategy, or SAP's sponsored post in Forbes focused on analytics' importance.
When you really get down to brass tacks, it becomes clear that every business hoping to digitally transform should take an exhaustive look at itself and find out what is most in need of an upgrade, and then focus on bringing those aspects of operations up to date. Clear guidance from leadership will be critical to this granular, organization-specific method of digital transformation, and if your organization lacks this factor, the executive search consultants at YES Partners know how to track down ideal talent for these supervisory roles. To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.
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