Digital Trends Survey results reveal leaders are grappling with the pace of transformation expected in 2017

Posted by Jess Thorpe | 13-Feb-2017 11:56:23

Technology is having a profound impact on the UK’s top enterprises, with many IT leaders concerned about keeping up with the pace of change expected in 2017. Our Digital Trends Report 2017, in partnership with Ensono, collated the views of the Nimbus Ninety community, over 250 technology and business leaders from more than 20 sectors, to understand what tech trends and disruptions were on the radar for the year ahead.

Rapid development of technology is leading 57% to rethink business models, while 49% say that company culture has changed as a direct result of digital. And whilst the usual spectre of legacy systems is holding back progress for 50%, organisational structure is a thorn in the side for 38% - highlighting the extent to which technology is challenging the traditional corporate bureaucracy.

Platform technologies are expected to be most disruptive in the next 12 months, closely followed by Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and digital ecosystems. Today’s investment is focused largely on data and analytics, with 67% searching out solutions in this area.

The inescapable impact of technology has lead to a proliferation of complex projects, with a resounding 84% suggesting more investment is needed if digital ambitions are to be realised. For 54%, spend on technology will increase in 2017 (30% expect it to stay the same). Despite this increase, 41% feel their organisations aren’t embracing the opportunities presented by digital. And whilst investment is critical, successful digital transformation faces some major obstacles.

What’s derailing digital? It’s less complex than you might think. At the project level, poor communication between departments was the most popular pain point for 44%. The digital era may have expanded the channels of communication, but the silo mentality appears to be alive and well in many organisations. Or, perhaps the complexity of some projects is leading to regular miscommunication between teams? Project direction and focus was rated second most painful with 30%.

Perhaps the most telling result in this year’s survey was around the challenges facing leadership. 60% felt that ‘business as usual’ diverted crucial leadership attention away from digital transformation. This is a key concern for leaders across organisations, grappling with steering the business through this era of accelerated development.  It suggests a lack of resource, or, a lack of long-term vision. Both are difficult to fix. Stalling on digital projects now could prove very costly in the not too distant future, with 36% fearful that increased competition from digitally-driven enterprises will be the key business challenge in 2017.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the survey and report. 

Join us to discuss the findings of the Digital Trends Report 2017 at our IGNITE Summits:

Topics: Research & Reports, IGNITE Summits, Thought Leadership

Written by Jess Thorpe

Jess leads on the research and content for Nimbus Ninety, searching out the latest trends and disruptions affecting our dynamic community of disruptive leaders.

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