Monday, May 27

Still a major lag in global digital transformation


SOURCE: DT, Vanson Bourne.

KUCHING: Despite the relentless pace of disruption, the latest Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index shows many businesses’ digital transformation programmes are still in their infancy.

The just-announced global results of the research revealed that 78 per cent of business leaders admit digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organisation (Malaysia: 85 per cent).

In a press statement, Dell Technologies (DT) explained that more than half of businesses globally and in Malaysia (51 per cent) believe they’ll struggle to meet changing customer demands within five years, and almost one in three (30 per cent) still worry their organisation will be left behind (48 per cent in Malaysia).

“In the near future, every organisation will need to be a digital organisation, but our research indicates that the majority still have a long way to go,” said DT chairman and chief executive officer Michael Dell.

“Organisations need to modernise their technology to participate in the unprecedented opportunity of digital transformation. The time to act is now,” he added.

DT, in collaboration with Intel and Vanson Bourne, surveyed 4,600 business leaders (director to C-suite) from mid- to large-sized companies across the globe to score their organisations’ transformation efforts.

The study revealed that emerging markets are the most digitally mature, with India, Brazil and Thailand topping the global ranking. In contrast, developed markets are slipping behind: Japan, Denmark and France received the lowest digital maturity scores.

Interestingly, it noted that of the Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China countries included in the research, Malaysia is ranked ahead of nations such as Singapore and Japan.

What’s more, emerging markets are more confident in their ability to “disrupt rather than be disrupted” (53 per cent), compared to just 40 per cent in developed nations.

The DT Index II builds on the first ever DT Index launched in 2016. The two-year comparison highlights that progress has been slow, with organisations struggling to keep up with the blistering pace of change. While the percentage of Digital Adopters has increased, there’s been no progress at the top. Almost four in 10 (39 per cent) businesses are still spread across the two least digitally mature groups on the benchmark (Digital Laggards and Digital Followers).

Globally, the top five barriers to digital transformation success include data privacy and security concerns, lack of budget and resources, lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise, regulation and legislative changes, and immature digital culture.

According to the report, almost half (49 per cent) believe their organisation will struggle to prove it’s trustworthy within the next five years (Malaysia: 50 per cent).

Nearly a third (32 per cent) do not trust their own organisation to comply with regulations (such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation) (Malaysia: 31 per cent) while one in three do not trust their own organisation to protect employee or customer data (Malaysia: 38 per cent).

Leaders have reported common priorities and investments to aid future transformation, including an increased focus on workforce, security and IT. Forty-six per cent (up from 27 per cent in 2016) are developing in-house digital skills and talent, by teaching all employees how to code for instance (Malaysia: 56 per cent).

“How organisations fare in the future will depend on the steps they take today. For instance, Draper, a Dell Technologies customer, was traditionally focused on department of defense research but it’s starting to move into more commercial areas such as biomedical science,” said DT.

“Technology enables us to keep solving the world’s toughest problems; from the infrastructure and services that underpin our innovation, to the experimental technologies that we wield to prevent disease for instance,” said Draper’s CIO Mike Crones.

“We couldn’t push boundaries, and call ourselves an engineering and research firm, without being a fully transformed and modern company from the inside out.”