CONTRIBUTOR
General Manager and Editorial Director,
Techstrong Group

A survey of 400 senior IT leaders conducted by  IDG Research Services on behalf of Insight Enterprises, an IT services provider, suggests larger organizations are making a significant amount of digital business transformation headway.

Nine out of 10 survey respondents working at organizations that have more than 1,500 employees noted digital transformation initiatives have accelerated over the last 18 months, with nearly half undertaking enterprise-wide efforts (46%). Another 41% are implementing business unit or departmental initiatives. Only 13% have taken no action, the survey finds.

Advances cited by respondents include quality of service (44%) and user experience/satisfaction (40%), business continuity (35%), cost efficiency/savings (34%), resource optimization (33%), increased agility (32%) and increased innovation/creation of new revenue-generating products (32%).

A full 90% of respondents expect IT modernization to have either a transformative or significant impact on their organization’s long-term growth, including 29% of those that have not yet begun the process. Those with enterprise-wide initiatives are significantly more likely to expect a transformative impact (54%) than those with only business unit initiatives (30%). However, the survey also noted that 41% of projects are still in their early stages.

In fact, 89% of respondents report that existing infrastructure, operations and culture are constraining innovation and strategic business growth, with nearly half (49%) indicating these factors are limiting their ability to drive the business forward to a great extent. A total of 44% cite skills/knowledge gaps as the biggest constraint inhibiting innovation, followed by the lack of infrastructure optimization to support digital dexterity and inadequate data analysis capabilities for decision-making at 39% each.

Just as critically, 87% indicate that the working relationship between developers and traditional IT is hindering their ability to take full advantage of digital transformation. Just 20% are making progress with implementing platform teams that collaborate with DevSecOps/agile development teams.

The top three goals for 2022 cited are optimizing data and analytics capabilities (48%); increasing cloud adoption via multicloud or hybrid models (47%); and modernizing legacy applications, infrastructure and networking technologies (37%).

Large organizations are making significant progress after launching a wave of digital business transformation initiatives in the immediate aftermath of the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Juan Orlandini, chief architect for the Cloud + Data Center Transformation (CDCT) division of Insight Enterprises. They have begun to focus their efforts on the projects that are now showing the greatest potential return on investment, he added.

It may take a while for those projects to come to fruition, however, because so many larger organizations are still trying to bridge the divide between developers and their IT operations teams, noted Orlandini. Adoption of best DevOps practices is still relatively uneven within larger organizations, he said.

Nevertheless, IT organizations in some cases have evolved to the point where they can drive digital transformations faster than the business can absorb, noted Orlandini. The ultimate challenge going forward for most larger enterprises is finding a way to adapt their business processes before competitors that are employing modern platforms to usurp them emerge, he added.

In effect, digital business transformation has now become a race against time.