The latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has revealed that Digital Transformation is climbing up UK businesses’ agendas as fears of digital disruption mount. However, the industry body has warned that organisations will need to focus on upskilling the workforce if their Digital Transformation efforts are to be a success.
Conducted in February 2017, the research polled 250 IT and business decision-makers in large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and public sector organisations and found that that a significant proportion of UK organisations are keenly aware of the threat of disruption. Two in five (40%) of respondents expect their organisation’s sector to be significantly or moderately disrupted within the next two years, and a similar proportion (37%) expect the same for their organisation’s business model.
Against this backdrop, it should come as little surprise that many organisations have transformation in their sights. The results revealed that 44% of organisations have already implemented, or are in the process of implementing, a Digital Transformation strategy, and a further 32% expect to have done so within the next two years.
However, 94% reported facing barriers to their organisation’s Digital Transformation. Over half (55%) stated that their organisation did not have the skills needed to adapt to Digital Transformation, 48% cited privacy and security concerns, while 47% were worried about legacy IT systems. Worryingly, just 17% were completely confident that their senior leadership team would be able to deliver Digital Transformation.
Commenting on the findings, Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, said: “It is clear that UK-based organisations can see some big changes on the horizon and Digital Transformation strategies are gaining traction as a result. This is certainly encouraging, but the results from our research indicate that many organisations lack the strategic thinking, direction, and support needed to make a success of Digital Transformation. UK business and technology leaders need to consider the digital imperatives and look at how they support their businesses with technology to meet them. Moreover, they need to invest in skills development and training schemes for staff to help drive digital initiatives further.
“Digital Transformation is about more than just turning legacy processes into digital ones; it looks at how an organisation interacts and engages with its employees, partners and customers. Having the right skills in the broader workforce to deliver Digital Transformation is critical and the research revealed that just 45% of respondents believe that their organisation has the skills required to adapt to Digital Transformation. Looking to the future, UK organisations need to focus on plugging the digital skills gap if they are to enjoy the full benefits of Digital Transformation. To this end, the Cloud Industry Forum has built and launched our Professional Membership and eLearning scheme, which provides the means to aid the development of key digital and cloud computing skills,” concludes Alex.