According to a recent study, more than half of the enterprise executives surveyed across Europe were putting their weight behind digital transformations, but nearly 40% of them also expected those digital efforts to lead to major disruptions over the next three years.
The survey found that 52% of the executives will be increasing their IT spending levels within the next year to tap into the benefits of digital transformation.
According to the study, which was commissioned by CenturyLink and conducted by 451 Research, 47% of the survey participants have a formal strategy in place for their digital transformations and are in the process of digitizing their business processes. By contrast, 25% have started on siloed projects without overall strategies in place.
"In a global business economy dominated by disruption, innovation and cyber threats, speed to market is of the essence," said Richard Warley, CenturyLink managing director, EMEA, in a prepared statement. "While it’s encouraging to see the majority of enterprises in Europe increasing their investment in digital transformation, the associated complexities can result in numerous roadblocks. Moving to a superior network and employing agile cloud technologies are foundational elements to simplifying the transformation process."
The biggest drivers cited for digital transformations were familiar -- reducing operational costs (51%), improving customer experience (41%) and creating new services or revenue streams (37%).
While the buy-in for digital transformation by European IT executives represented a glass half full, the glass half empty aspect was that the majority of them (55%) estimated it would take three to six years to fully implement company-wide digital transformations. Overcoming business and IT complexities was cited as the main reason for the three-to-six year time frame.
Other barriers to digital transformations identified by the respondents included inflexible IT systems and lack of operational ability (36%), and the inability to migrate legacy IT and business applications to the cloud (33%).
The increased importance of the cloud was reinforced by the study, with 57% of the respondents rating cloud services as a "very important" component for digital transformations while 29% rated it as "important."
The European study mirrored some of the results from a global digital transformation study by 451 Research, which was also commissioned by CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), that was released earlier this year.
The European study was conducted by 451 Research in the first quarter of this year and included interviews with 400 IT executives in the financial services industry, retail sector and public sector agencies across the UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation