With an interest in the state of digital transformation and specifically customer experience related initiatives, the MuleSoft Connectivity Benchmark Report 2018 Report provided some startling insight into the challenges facing ITDMs (Information Technology Decision Makers). The study was a survey of 650 ITDMs at companies with more than 1000 employees.
“Four out of five ITDMs said that if their organization’s digital transformation initiatives were not successfully completed, then it will negatively impact their revenue within the next year. It seems likely that digital transformation could make or break a lot of organizations in the coming years.”
Digitization and digital business models are leading the transformation of the global economy. So called digital natives like Uber, Amazon, Tesla and even old tech that transitioned like Microsoft are growing fast and making huge profits. It’s not surprise that the C-Suite is under pressure to build a digital customer/employee/supplier experience under the banner of digital transformation. So, the findings below sense.
“Nearly three quarters (74%) of IT decision makers are currently carrying out digital transformation initiatives, with a further 23% planning to over the next three years.”
Since our interest is in CX, customer experience solutions, we especially like the findings on the priorities and goals.
“It isn’t surprising that 92% of ITDMs say creating a connected user experience for both employees and customers is a priority for their organization. Currently, only 39% of organizations say they offer a completely connected user experience across all channels.”
“ITDMs were very clear on what business goals they wanted to achieve with digital transformation. They cited increasing IT’s operational efficiency (83%), improving customer experience (71%), and increasing business efficiency (70%), as their top three goals for digital transformation.”
Those findings make sense and here at BEA we’re feeling like our strategy is validated by the data. All ITDMs are saying the things the boss wants to hear (renaming legacy upgrades as “digital transformation”), and what they would like to be working on. It makes even more sense when combined with the downside warning: 80% reporting “if their digital transformation initiatives are not successful, revenue will be negatively impacted”.
But here’s where the wheels fall off. The majority are big on the right goal statements but are they, “putting their money where their mouth is”? The findings say no.
“71% of ITDMs say their IT budget will either increase by less than 10% or will stay the same in the coming year.”
“Business and IT misalignment (43%), legacy infrastructure and systems (42%), and resources/budget allocation (38%) were cited as the top three barriers to digital transformation. A further third said that integrating siloed apps and data is an additional obstacle.”
“the IT delivery gap is widening at an alarming rate – with ITDMs struggling more than ever to deliver all the projects asked of them. Two-thirds of ITDMs admitted they were not able to deliver all of the projects asked of them last year.”
Wow. This suggests that over 52% of the survey's companies will see a negative revenue impact from failure to deliver on their digital transformation projects.
So in summary for ITDMs, the goals and priorities are right, the demands for new solutions from users are intense, the legacy systems are a resource boat anchor and the consequences of failure are severe. In response, most C-Suites provided less than 10% more funding?
Ross Mason, MuleSoft's founder, "With major disruptions happening in multiple industries, no company is too big to have the rug pulled from under it. It is no longer about the big eating the small; it is now about the fast eating the slow."
This catch-22 is not really new for ITDMs but as the digital transformation of everything accelerates, it will become an existential problem for many companies. To use Ross Mason’s expression, there will be a lot of feasting for the “fast”. Aside from switching to a fast horse, I would encourage ITDMs to find a way to put the MuleSoft report in front of their CEO. I don’t know the folks at MuleSoft but I’m sure they’ll help.