Is your digital transformation behind the curve? See how you compare

See how you measure up against 1,625 global business leaders questioned on their attitudes to digital transformation

1 intro

Making digital transformation work around the world

Businesses around the world are undergoing, or at least planning, digital transformations. Yours might be one of them.

Getting it right is not just about choosing the right technology and recruiting the best talent: It's also about encouraging an appropriate business culture and collaborating with other organizations. Some businesses are proving more successful at this than others.

As you embark on your own digital transformation, here's your chance to see how you measure up against 1,625 global business leaders questioned on behalf of Fujitsu for a survey on attitudes to digital transformation.  

The survey was conducted by independent research company Censuswide in July and August 2017. Respondents came in roughly equal numbers from Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K. and U.S., with smaller numbers from Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and Sweden. They were decision makers in mid-size to large businesses in the public sector, financial services, retail and manufacturing, and all had either delivered a transformation project or were interested in doing so.

In the following slides, you'll discover some of the key findings, including what drives the digital transformation, the key ingredients to make it work, and how attitudes to it vary around the world.

More on digital transformation:

2 half begun dig transformation

Half of businesses have begun their digital transformation

Two years ago, 70 percent of business leaders told Fujitsu that digital transformation was still seen as a gamble, and one third said they feared they were investing too much time and money in it.

It's clear now that companies are now placing their bets, and some are already reaping the rewards.

Almost half (46 percent) of businesses have already completed at least one digital transformation project and achieved the desired outcomes. Another 29 percent have projects in progress, and 18 percent are developing or testing proofs of concept.

Only 8 percent of those surveyed have yet to take any steps towards digital transformation. Would you be in that category?

3 customers as drivers

The customer is king

Pressure from customers was the most common driver for embarking on digital transformation, cited by 58 percent of respondents, with competitors (44 percent), partners (31 percent) and new competitors (26 percent) also driving change. A year ago, only 45 percent of those surveyed said their customers were driving their digital transformation.

At the same time, some businesses are clearly still reluctant to give their customers what they want: 84 percent of respondents said their customers "expect" them to be more digital, and 71 percent believe that they already lag behind their competition in meeting customers' expectations for digital transformation. But only 66 percent believed they would lose business to rivals as a result of a lack of digital transformation.

4 its all about the process

It's all about the process

Applying the right processes, attitudes and behaviors was identified by a third of businesses as the most important factor in making a success of digital transformation. (The right people came a close second to the corporate culture, the right technology a distant third.)

Nine in ten businesses have a clearly defined digital strategy -- and yet 74 percent of respondents said that digital projects are often not linked with that strategy, a potential failure of process.

Many think they already have the right processes: In 59 percent of businesses, new digital processes sit alongside existing ones, and in 58 percent the new digital processes are used to augment existing ones. Only 37 percent of businesses try something entirely new.

5 train your way out

Train your way out of trouble

Despite the right people being the second most important success factor in digital transformation, almost on a par with corporate culture, 70 percent of business leaders said the people in their organization lacked digital skills.

Over half (56 percent) hope to train their way out of trouble, while 46 percent are counting on recruitment to cure their skills shortage. Some 39 percent see internal skills-sharing networks as a way to capitalize on existing expertise.

Two areas businesses feel they are particularly lacking in skills are artificial intelligence (83 percent) and cyber security (80 percent).

6 investing in technology

Investing in technology

Although only one in five business leaders considered technology the most important success factor in digital transformation, 84 percent would be prepared to change their business model to adapt to it, whether that means changing sales channels or internal processes.

About half of them expect to invest in cybersecurity, internet of things (IoT) and cloud technologies over the next year, slightly fewer in AI (43 percent) and big data or analytics (37 percent). Again, about half expect their investment in cybersecurity and cloud to be very important to the financial and operational success of the business.

7 co creating with competition

Co-creating with the competition

Businesses don't want to transform in isolation: 63 percent are starting co-creation projects with partners, or have already begun them. They're promiscuous in their choice of partners, too: 64 percent of them will co-create with technology experts, 42 percent with customers, and 30 percent are even considering doing it with their own competitors.

Fujitsu points out that this is all the more significant because co-creation goes beyond mere collaboration, as it's not just about working together but also about sharing valuable and potentially sensitive expertise.  Would your organization dare go that far?

8 the price of failure

The price of failure

With around €555,000 ($644,000) on the line in case of a failed digital transformation project, according to those surveyed for Fujitsu, businesses are understandably cautious. In the last two years, 28 percent have experienced such a failure, while 33 percent have had to cancel a project, cutting their average losses to €424,000.

Businesses expect their digital transformation projects to deliver operational and financial results in around 18 months. Public sector organizations are the most impatient to see results, with a quarter of them expecting to see the benefits within six months. One in five, though, is prepared to wait three to four years for the operational benefits to flow though.

9 fear of failure not stopping china

Fear of failure isn't stopping the Chinese

Compared to their counterparts elsewhere, Chinese businesses are saving money by failing fast -- but that doesn't stop 47 percent of respondents there from seeing fear of failure as a hindrance.

Judge for yourself how fearful they are, though: 35 percent have seen a project fail within the last two years (compared to 28 percent globally) and 40 percent have cancelled one in that period. The Chinese are also more likely to refocus a failing project, a set of attitudes that lowers the cost of a failed digital transformation to around half that elsewhere.

The Chinese aren't just impatient with failure, they're also impatient for success: 39 percent expect results from their projects within just six months, and 59 percent have already reached that stage with their first one.

10 the ai revolution

The AI revolution

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing a lot of things in business. When it comes to digital transformation, 83 percent of business leaders say it's radically changing the skills that they need to foster or acquire.

The pace of change is so great that 71 percent are concerned that their organizations won't adapt in time.

Despite that concern, though, only 47 percent plan to invest in AI, and only 46 percent expect it to by very important to their organization's financial success.

11 co creation makes a world of difference

Co-creation makes a world of difference

There's more than just the Pacific Ocean between Japan and the U.S. when it comes to attitudes to co-creation and digital transformation. Where only 46 percent of Japanese businesses see it as a viable approach, their U.S. counterparts are all-in, with almost half strongly agreeing with the idea of sharing sensitive information (47 percent) or changing their business model as part of a co-creation project.

Co-creation is also welcome in Singapore and Spain, although with different partners. In Singapore, 68 percent of businesses surveyed had co-creation projects planned or under way, and 41 percent prefer to work with government or public-sector partners. In Spain, 76 percent prefer to work with technology vendors to create new systems, a more classical arrangement.

But it's the Finns and the Swedes that lead the world in co-creation: Some 81 percent of businesses there have partnership projects under way or in prospect.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

Related Slideshows