Chameleons succeed in digital transformation

Categories: Digital TransformationAutomotiveCommunicationsConsumer and RetailEnergy & UtilitiesFinancial ServicesHealthcareManufacturing and IndustrialMediaTechnology

56% of organisations are well into their digital transformation journeys, and yet, only one in five believe their strategy is valid for the next 12 months*.

COVID-19 triggered a digital and e-commerce turning point, accelerating transformation programs by years and pushing more services online. Adaptability jumped to sit at the top of the technology agenda, as did investment into data and insight, and sustainability.

And yet, whilst we witnessed tremendous change in the way organisations do business, these same organisations found themselves in a strange Groundhog Day loop post-pandemic. Reducing time to market. Filling technology skills gaps. Automating processes. Unclear digital strategy. High operating costs. All these remained on the business agenda despite huge transformational leaps.

Why?

Because the addition of new tools and platforms requires new talent, new environments mean changes to pipelines, and legacy systems have the added challenge of working alongside modern infrastructure.

The fact these challenges still exist suggests there has been little to no advancement towards resolving the truly thorny issues of transformation. Not through lack of trying. Simply because the tech landscape moves so fast, transformation can never really be done.

As a Director of Digital Transformation at an Energy, Utilities and/or Waste Management Firm noted: “It won’t go away, and digital transformation alone won’t end…it will be a continuous, ongoing thing for the next 100 years; It has to become deeply ingrained in the DNA of our company and of our employees*.”

To help shine light on how organisations are evaluating the state of digital transformation, GlobalLogic commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study. This study surveyed 259 business decision makers at director level or above in the UK and DACH region in Financial Services and Energy, Utilities and Waste Management sectors.

Here’s a snapshot of what that study uncovered.

 

Digital investment is the name, digital intelligence is the game.

A response to this transformation Groundhog Day phenomenon has been an increase in the number of firms working with third-party service providers. 80%* of firms seek outside help to achieve their digital strategy objectives, whilst one-third of respondents are actively looking for more guidance from their partner ecosystem.

Another shift has been the level of investment into tech budgets.

Two thirds of firms are expecting at least a 5% increase and a quarter anticipate budgets over 10%*. Unsurprisingly, data is a top priority, with innovation being named a hotspot too. By focusing on extracting insights from data, businesses are hoping to commercialise existing assets and enhance the capabilities of their workforce. This in turn can help increase pace of innovation and add greater technological agility.

Team up innovation with an increase in cloud spend – 32% of total IT budgets are allocated to cloud computing in 2021 – IDG Cloud Computing Survey, 2020 – and you begin to see greater flexibility from platforms too.

 

Hungry for data, starved of insights

A prominent trend within the tech space today is the increased focus on CX. Some would argue that early adopters of customer-centric models means that CX has never stopped ‘trending’, but how organisation engage customers has changed dramatically. Most notably, there is a far greater number of digital services and stakeholders are beginning to leapfrog shareholders in the measure of business success and value created.

According to the study, firms recognise the importance of using data to improve CX, however, many struggle to draw insights from the data they keep. This is seeing an amplified interest in end-to-end customer-oriented methodologies, and more time spent mapping out data flows to ensure the right data falls into the right hands at the right time. The problem is, without organisational buy-in, there remains a void between strategy and technical execution.

40%* firms report their business strategy focuses on creating excellent customers experiences, however, only 22%* report that they actively seek opportunities to improve their CX with the use of digital technologies and continuous measurement tools. As with all change programs, the will to succeed isn’t enough. The ability to adapt, engage with new tools and techniques, and continuously learn from data are at the heart of successful transformation – alongside stakeholder buy-in and a clear digital strategy.

 

Channel your inner chameleon

One theme that became clear in the study was a need for adaptability.

Whilst there has been an abundance of change during the pandemic, the value of that change, and its longevity, has since been questioned. 84%* of business leaders cite the continued need to improve existing IT capabilities to promote agility and innovation – placing second only to revenue growth. A further 80%* are looking to improve product and service innovation in the next year and only one in five* believe their strategy is suitable beyond the next 12 months.

It’s undeniable. Efforts from organisations over the past two years have been remarkable. The pace of change. Innovation. Willingness to adopt new technologies and platforms.

The problem is, pandemic-born strategies stopped short. Yes, they prioritised the pressing issues, but very few looked beyond the immediate threat to explore how their solutions would evolve, and more importantly, continue to serve their business as new environments were introduced.

As the study evidenced, this blind spot has resulted in high operating costs, unclear digital strategies and unsuitable processes & platforms for hybrid working models. We’ve also witnessed a lack of agility and adaptability in long-term solutions, stalling organisations just as they were gaining speed.

Now chameleons – the highly specialised old-world lizard, notable for their adaptability in extreme conditions – are not known for their speed. But they are known for their survival.

Every organisation still in business today survived because of chameleon-like attributes. With each new challenge, they adapted. Where processes, platforms or tools didn’t work, they changed their colours – they changed how they did things. Where cultures were found to be static, they adjusted ways of working to thrive in new environments.

Organisations learnt to ‘blend in’ and roll with the changes, transforming at an incredible pace to improve the odds of their survival.

And now, these same organisations have been given a brief moment to reflect. To peel back the plasters on hasty decisions and evolve pandemic-born strategies into sustainable solutions. With partners supporting their efforts and an eye on sustainability, these organisations have all the odds in their favour – but only if they continue to channel their inner chameleon.

The future belongs to the adaptive organisation. Are you ready?

*“The Future Belongs to the Adaptive Organisation Study”. A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of GlobalLogic, 2021

Read the full study here

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Author

GlobalLogic Marketing

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