The pandemic has put digital transformation up front and center on the CIO\u2019s agenda over the past few years. According to 2022 State of the CIO study, 85% of CIOs are focusing on transformational initiatives with pre-pandemic levels of technology budget growth. Going digital empowers businesses to deliver enhanced experiences in an age where consumers will pay 16% more for a great customer experience. On the flipside, 32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience.\n\nAmid pandemic-era supply chain challenges, digital transformation improves and streamlines operations, and supports a hybrid workforce through technologies like AI and automation. By 2024, enhanced analytics and automatic remediation capabilities will refocus 30% of IT operations efforts from support to continuous engineering.\n\nThe goal? To enhance and stabilize continuous business operations despite future disruptions seeing how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of business resiliency and agility. By 2022, 55% of organizations will be boosting resiliency, as well as improving profitability, innovation rates, and cost efficiencies by more than 20% compared to their peers.\n\nGiven these benefits that organizations stand to gain, it\u2019s no surprise that 65% of the global GDP will be digitalized this year as they rush to tap into the digital opportunity.\n\nComplexity, the key barrier to digital transformation\n\nHowever, even the most future-forward CIOs encounter a gap between what CIOs want to achieve and what they can currently achieve.\n\n\u201cWith the slate of pandemic-era IT investments comes along the influx of new technologies. Integrating these into the current IT mix often brings about complexities in their digital transformation.\u201d explained Ernest Lin, General Manager, Kyndryl Hong Kong. \u201cHow do you ensure new, open technologies like AI and automation can interoperate seamlessly with legacy IT? How do you efficiently manage both on-premises and cloud, and at the same time keeping an eye out on costs? This complexity further increases as organizations scale amid rapid technological advances.\u201d\n\nIt's no surprise that organizations will find difficulties in managing data, given its exponential growth. And if finding ways to maximize the value of data silos is not challenging enough, CIOs will also need to keep in view the increasingly complex regulatory requirements that differ across regions.\n\nThe talent shortage comes up often in CIO conversations. With new technologies and increased data comes the need for new skillsets to deploy and manage them. But in the climate of global tech skills gap, demand far outweighs the current supply of IT talent; in the face of these professional shortages, CIOs must re-evaluate their operating models to better integrate skills with services.\n\nWhat does successful transformation look like?\n\nThe most important thing to understand about digital transformation is that it\u2019s an ongoing journey not a destination, which means organizations need to implement appropriate technology governance frameworks and enterprise architecture. These are crucial to set system service and interface standards (think containers and microservices) as well as better position organizations to embrace open technologies and deeper innovation. The result is a more agile, resilient organization that can adapt to a new generation of digital challenges.\n\n\u201cIn this new frontier of cloud-enabled business, it\u2019s crucial to have solid platforms to accommodate modern use cases and services on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS models,\u201d said Lin. \u201cBut it\u2019s also equally important to have the right technology partner for the long journey ahead that can simplify integration and innovation complexities without compromising operations.\u201d\n\nThe right partner should tap into a robust mix of regional and global skill pools, which smoothens the transition from a skill-based to service-based operating model. It should also offer Fortune-100 caliber best practices and capabilities, to seamlessly integrate different technologies, systems, and platforms for continuous innovation and new growth opportunities. The right partner can help design, build, manage, and modernize mission-critical IT environments, which frees CIOs and IT teams to focus on strategic initiatives.\n\nAn example would be how a Hong Kong automobile dealership engaged Kyndryl as a long-term partner to support its expansion strategy, enabling it to deliver reliable and secure SAP infrastructure for critical apps on hyperscaler. With Kyndryl, the dealership adopted an agile model for on-demand cloud services and a robust infrastructure, in turn empowering it to focus on its core business, reduce IT complexities and costs while improving agility and cybersecurity.\n\nIt\u2019s clear that despite the level of complexity required, digital transformation remains a critical process for all businesses today\u2014and not every company can make this transformation. We\u2019re seeing heartening uptake in the global managed services market at 12.44% compound annual growth rate from 2022 to 2027 with Asia as the fastest growing region. This points towards a robust demand for partner capabilities across consulting and technology services. Ultimately, the reliance on partnership will allow CIOs to focus on their core business and strategic operations, which in turn enables results-based outcomes that will drive them towards success regardless of uncertainties and economic shocks.\n\nFind out more about how Kyndryl can simplify your digital transformation initiatives here.