Placing an all-encompassing focus on the role of technology when making digital transformation decisions could actually be restricting the chances of success for UK businesses according to new research from Telstra.
The company’s newly released white paper, Disruptive Decision-Making research, surveyed 3,810 senior decision-makers from 12 industries in 14 markets around the world to uncover insights into strengths and weaknesses around their digital transformation programs.
Leaning too heavily on technology
When rating decision-making across four factors for success (people, processes, technology understanding and partnerships), British businesses ranked ‘technology understanding’ as the area where they feel by far the most confident.
According to the white paper, 77% of UK respondents felt their organisation makes technology decisions ‘well’ or ‘extremely well’. While the understanding of technology and its performance is important, other factors are equally significant.
Telstra’s Managing Director for EMEA Tom Homer explained that organisations that are highly digitally mature show greater focus on people and processes, saying:
“I believe that digital transformation is technology-enabled, but people-led. Yet our research shows employees are not being given the attention they warrant. Successful digital transformation relies on more than the right technology. It requires the right culture, the right people and the right processes to support them. Digital transformation should be a company journey that involves upskilling and changing employee mindsets, adapting structures and ways of working, and creating teams that can maximise the new technologies being introduced.”
Whole-of-business approach needed
The research also found that a company-wide approach to digital transformation is significantly more likely to result in success. However, 53% of UK organisations are allowing business departments to drive individual digital initiatives instead of the whole company.
Organisations in the UK rated their top three digital transformation priorities as (1) optimise technology to move faster, (2) manage risk and compliance, and (3) protect digital assets from cyber threats.
Increased customer experience but increasing profit harder
The research found that while organisations in the UK are increasing their investment in digital transformation, many businesses had yet to realise the financial impact of their efforts.
Investment in digital transformation is also on the rise with 25% of businesses investing more than one million in digital transformation products and services over the past year. This is set to increase as 24% of respondents said their company’s total spend on digital transformation would grow by more than 10% in the next three years. However, showing ‘hard outcomes’ of this investment was more difficult.