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Forrester highlights sorry state of digital transformation

By , Portals editor
Africa , 04 May 2018

Forrester highlights sorry state of digital transformation

While tech vendors are actively pushing solution adoption to meet the demand by companies that want to leverage digital transformation, global research indicates a reluctance to change within some businesses.

A blog posted by Ted Schadler, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, reflected on the findings of the company's report The Sorry State of Digital Transformation in 2018, which stated that 21% of the 1,559 business and tech decision makers surveyed believe their businesses are transformed, that they've completed the process.

He noted that another 22% are investigating or not transforming at all.

"And while 56% of firms are transforming, their level of investment and scope of transformation are still mostly small. For example, only 34% of banks and insurers are even bothering to transform marketing and only 45% are transforming customer care - too few given consumers' of mass adoption of mobile devices," said Schadler.

He highlighted one firm's response: "It's a war between old-school, technophobe leaders and the technology innovation that represents a completely different way of doing business."

The report also found that 38% of respondents believe technological changes (like digital transformation) will have the greatest effect on business decisions over the next twelve months, and 55% invest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as part of the digital transformation process.

Another key takeaway from the Report is that more firms are placing CIOs in charge of digital transformation in order to overcome challenges and achieve potential.

37% of respondents confirm the CIO is responsible for leading their firm's most recent digital transformation, with 24% saying this is the responsibility of the CEO, while 18% say it falls on the shoulders of the Chief Digital Officer.

An excerpt from the report reads, "Sometimes a chief digital of¬ficer is the best outside thinker, able to see what must be done. But an enlightened CIO - a rare breed, for sure – has the technology awareness and the enterprise visibility to unify the changes you need to make."

According to the 2018 Gartner CEO Survey, 62% of respondents said they have a management initiative or transformation programme to make their business more digital. Of these organisations, 54% said their digital business objective is transformational, while 46% said the objective of the initiative is optimisation.

"In the background, CEOs' use of the word "digital" has been steadily rising. When asked to describe their top five business priorities, the number of respondents mentioning the word digital at least once has risen from 2.1 percent in the 2012 survey to 13.4 percent in 2018. This positive attitude toward digital business is backed up by CEOs' continuing intent to invest in IT. Sixty-one percent of respondents intend to increase spending on IT in 2018, while 32 percent plan to make no changes to spending and only seven percent foresee spending cuts," stated Gartner.

Vendors upbeat

At Cisco's recent Partner Connection Week, hosted in Nassau, Bahamas, the company emphasised its value proposition in providing a secure, intelligent platform for digital business.

Wendy Bahr, SVP, Global Partner Organisation at Cisco, reiterated the company's corporate strategy to empower partners to increase the pace of innovation and transfer the benefit to their respective markets.

"Increasing the fuel that we put into your organisation to fire up your growth .... It starts with unlocking new types of opportunity... and this comes from analytic-driven services with API-driven business models, and this gives us competitive differentiation," she said.

Bahr added that according to Gartner, worldwide IT spending in 2018 is expected to reach US$3.7 trillion (4,5% increase y-on-year), a 9.5% increase in enterprise software spend and 5.5% increase in IT services.

She stressed the need for partners to transform their digital service capabilities and take cognisance of the evolution of security solutions and the environment, along with the significance of the cloud.

According to the IDC CloudView from April 2017, 85% of global respondents were evaluating or using public cloud, 87% have taken steps towards a hybrid cloud strategy and 94% plan to use multiple clouds.

Corine Mbiaketcha Nana, Managing Director Kenya Hub covering East, Central and West Africa at Oracle, said recently that Africa has a unique opportunity enabled by cloud technology and the focus should be on using it in a manner that delivers maximum developmental impact.

"Presently, Kenya is the clear leader in Africa when it comes to internet and mobile penetration, which stood at 89.4% in June 2017, with the next three lagging further behind: Morocco (58%), South Africa (56%) and Nigeria (54%). The continental average is 31.2%," said Mbiaketcha Nana.

Paul Williams, Country Manager at Fortinet South Africa said in Africa, the ability to fully integrate systems and centrally manage devices with realtime collaboration is the biggest challenge faced by businesses that must digitally transform.

"Legacy systems in the PLC and IOT environments can be managed by digital devices in front of them which covert analogue to digital. Other drivers are integration of IOT with security, building management systems, motoring, shipping, air travel, transportation and many more," said Williams.

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