Organisations at risk of wasting US$28million on digital projects!

Organisations are at risk of wasting millions of dollars in the next 12 months as they rush into flawed digital projects, finds research from Couchbase.

According to the survey, 52% of respondents believe a fixation on digital transformation had raised the risk of rushing into ill-thought-out projects, meaning that much of their average planned spend of US$28million in the next 12 months could be wasted.

This risk of “rushing” is being driven by mounting pressure to transform. 85% of respondents say that disruption in their industry has accelerated over the past 12 months, and 86% believe businesses will have to adapt to providing digital services in the next 12 months or accept they will become less relevant.

‘An insurmountable task’

However, businesses that can adapt to this pressure can show significant success: 6% have completely revolutionised digital experience to the extent it’s now unique in their industry, according to the report.

Furthermore, nearly all survey respondents say digital transformation can seem an insurmountable task – meaning projects are more likely to be unsuccessful.

Despite this, only 35% of respodents believe the primary driver for digital transformation is made by competitors. Instead, 23% believe its changes in regulation and 19% say its pressure from customers – meaning digital transformation is mostly being driven by reactive needs, instead of proactive ideas

Businesses have limited time to get digital transformation right according to the survey: 64% of respondents say those that can’t keep up with digital innovations will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor in fewer than four years.

‘Pressure to transform’

“We are entering the era of the massively interactive enterprise where every part of an organisation, from sales and marketing to HR, finance and logistics, is built around engaging digital experiences,” comments Matt Cain, CEO, Couchbase.

“The revolutionary potential of digital transformation will have a hugely positive impact for those organisations that can do it well. However, the pressure to transform at speed means organisations have a higher risk of taking a rushed, reactive approach, driven by the fear that the organisation will lose relevance, that results in substandard experiences and wasted investments. Transformation is not a destination,” he adds.

“It’s a continuous process that, at its best, is proactive, driven by the needs of the business as a whole, and underpinned by the right data infrastructure. By adopting this approach, and not letting the pressure faze them, organisations can join the ranks of the leading 25%.”

‘Raised number of issues’

Digital transformation is also still being held back by technology: 88% of organisations have had a digital project fail, reduce in scope, or suffer significant delays because their legacy database couldn’t support it. Indeed, this reliance on legacy databases and competing priorities has raised a number of issues, including:

  • 87% of organisations find they have to scale back ambitions for new applications and services so that they will work with IoT or mobile devices – since these devices cannot match the data processing power of larger servers, and cannot guarantee a consistent connection
  • Only 29% of organisations say they can use data in real-time, limiting the end-user experience and the types of services they can offer
  • 74% of organisations rely so heavily on the legacy databases that they cannot adopt newer database technology as quickly as they would like
  • 83% of respondents are under increased pressure to secure their organizations’ database – laying bare the threats organizations face and taking attention away from transforming new services.

The report is based on an online survey conducted in June and July 2018 by Vanson Bourne, an independent market research organisation, as well as 450 heads of digital transformation, such as CIOs, CDOs, and CTOs in organisations with 1,000 employees or more in the US, UK, France, and Germany.

Written from press release by Leah Alger

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