Majority of organisations expect to fail in four years if digital transformation fails

Despite spending millions of dollars on digital transformation in the past year, enterprises still feel they are at significant risk of being left behind by their industries, research from Couchbase shows.

In the survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises across the US, UK, France, and Germany, 80% are at risk of being left behind by digital transformation while 54% believe organisations that don’t keep up with digital transformation will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor within four years. And IT leaders are also at risk, with 73% believing they could be fired as the result of a poorly implemented or failing digital project.

 

Other findings include:

  • 89% of enterprises say their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption is only a matter of time, even after spending an average of $5.7 million on digital transformation in the past year

  • Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation – 95% say that it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience

  • While 80% of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organisation’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 percent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements

  • Databases are currently a clear handicap to this improvement – 84% have had digital projects cancelled, delayed, or reduced in scope because of the limitations of their legacy database

“Our study puts a spotlight on the harsh reality that despite allocating millions of dollars towards digital transformation projects, most companies are only seeing marginal returns and realising this trajectory won’t enable them to compete effectively in the future,” said Matt Cain, CEO of Couchbase.

“With 87% of IT leaders concerned that their revenue will drop if they don’t significantly improve their customers’ experiences, it’s critical that they focus on projects designed to increase customer engagement. Key to succeeding here is selecting the right underlying database technology that can leverage dynamic data to its full potential across any platform and deliver the personal, highly responsive experiences that customers are demanding today.”

 

Factors affecting digital transformation

Ninety percent of IT leaders said their plans to use data for new digital services were limited by factors such as the complexity of using multiple technologies or a lack of resources, as well as reliance on legacy database technology.

Survey respondents identified specific issues with legacy databases that could lead to digital projects underperforming:

  • 86% cited a lack of agility when developing new applications

  • 61% were unable to scale applications to suit demand

  • Enterprises have to wait an average of 28 hours before their databases could take advantage of data, which makes real-time data use an unattainable goal

  • Only 19% believe their current database would be up to the task of supporting modern technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and Internet of Things

“Historically, some enterprises haven’t done well at using data to improve customer experience, which is why digitally native companies have made some giant inroads in traditionally bricks and mortar businesses,” said John A. De Goes, CTO of SlamData.

“If all enterprises want to thrive, they need the confidence, ability, and technology to reinvigorate the customer experience. They need a revolution in the way they use data, to transform the customer experience and provide a data-driven way of truly engaging with end-users.”

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