Friday, 13th December 2019
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Businesses suffering from “digital transformation fatigue”

50% of UK businesses say their current pace of change is putting their transformation at risk.

Global business leaders are under more pressure than ever to digitally transform their organisations, but nearly half of them are struggling to yield the returns they expected. This is according to new research published by Avanade, the leading digital innovator on the Microsoft ecosystem. Although 89 percent of respondents cited digital transformation among their top three priorities, 50 percent reported that their current pace of change is the putting the success of their transformation process at risk.

In particular, a stalling pace change is impacting business leaders’ ability to provide their customers with the rich and personalised experiences they crave:

“Customer experience is one of the biggest factors driving digital experience, but many companies aren’t seeing the impacts they expected in this area,” says Annette Giardina, Business Application Lead UK & Ireland at Avanade.

“Organisations are increasingly learning that digitised doesn’t equal digital. Intelligent technology can enhance customer experience, but only in conjunction with an empowered workforce that has access to integrated and accurate data.”

Leaders are under mounting pressure to deliver returns on digital transformation initiatives, but many have rushed ahead without putting the right foundations in place to drive fundamental change. According to the research, there are several barriers in particular that are holding companies back:

·Talent: 45% are struggling to re-skill their employees and find the right talent to transform their business

·Systems and processes: 26% are failing to modernise their legacy systems and processes; and 40% haven’t managed to integrate new technology into their existing systems

·Intelligence: 84% are struggling to extract the most value from their data analytics

The importance of people and processes

According to Annette Giardina, many businesses are missing out on the full benefits of their digital transformation initiatives because they are focusing too narrowly on technology, at the expense of people and processes.

“Transformations are like a pyramid, with people on one side and processes on the other, and technology underpinning it all. Technology is not the driver of these programmes, it is the enabler. Without it the pyramid can still stand, but without a focus on the people and the processes it collapses.”

Balancing CX and EX

Many businesses are failing to leverage digital transformation to enhance their customer experience, because they are underestimating the importance of employee experience. Indeed, research from MIT CISR shows that firms with the best employee experience achieve business benefits, including double the customer satisfaction, twice the innovation and 25% greater profitability compared to competitors.

Research conducted by Avanade suggests that organisations understand the link between employee engagement and customer experience, with 83% of survey respondents agreeing that both disciplines should have equal priority.

“We know that employee satisfaction leads to better results for customers, so employee experience is actually an essential lever to customer experience,” Annette Giardina explains.

“Employees need access to workplace tools that are modern and helpful. Technology should replace the mundane tasks so staff can focus on value-added activity, which in turn is more satisfying.”

Applying intelligence to digital transformation

Business leaders understand the importance of data-driven transformation, with 89% of respondents agreeing that intelligence is a big part of the digital transformation journey. And yet many organisations are struggling to apply data analytics effectively.

Annette Giardina says: “Organisations are investing in intelligent technologies. But they are struggling to connect them to their systems, processes, and experiences. This is holding them back from a fully effective digital transformation journey.”

Avanade client Theramex has digitised key business functions to bring structure and efficiency in the face of its divestiture from parent company Teva. A women’s pharmaceutical company, Theramex operates in a highly regulated industry involving complex and lengthy approval processes. Eager to provide its customers with the most effective service despite these challenges, Theramex wanted to streamline its operations by deploying a digital backbone for processes like finance, warehousing, manufacturing, and human resources. Avanade implemented a Dynamics 365 ERP system in only seven months, which minimised the disruption to the rapidly growing company.

Pablo Alvarez, CIO of Theramex, explained how the system has supported the company’s growth:

“Avanade guided us in building an ERP system completely from scratch. As a newly created and rapidly growing entity, the need for a digital backbone was real and urgent. Avanade was able to implement Dynamics 365 in just seven months, which helped us expand from 10 employees to 430 with minimal disruptions.”

“The project wasn’t just about implementing technology – Avanade guided us in building the skills and processes needed to support the solution, and extract the greatest value from the system.”

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