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MITCapgemini-Urgency-of-Digital-Transformation-Oct2013More than 1 in 4 executives from around the world believe the time has already come to implement digital transformation across their organizations, and that doing so is already a matter of survival. That’s according to new research from MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, which also finds an additional 51% believing that it will become critical to implement digital transformation this year (18%) or within the next 2 years (33%). But the pace of change is too slow for many.

The researchers define digital transformation as “the use of new digital technologies (social media, mobile, analytics or embedded devices) to enable major business improvements (such as enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations or creating new business models.)”

For 63% of respondents, the pace of digital transformation isn’t happening quickly enough. Interestingly, though, respondents higher on the organizational ladder are more likely than those on the bottom rungs to be satisfied with the pace of change.

Still, asked to select up to 3 of the most significant organizational barriers to digital transformation, a leading 39% of respondents indicated the lack of a “burning platform,” citing no sense of urgency. Not enough funding (33%) and limitations of IT systems (30%) were the next-most common organizational barriers. Notably, issues surrounding culture (19%) and leadership skills (16%) appear to be less of a problem.

While leadership may not be an issue, vision could very well be. Only 36% of respondents indicated that senior leaders in their organizations had shared a vision for digital transformation. It seems that some of the reason for that is lack of alignment on a specific road map for moving forward: while the vast majority of respondents believe that leadership is aligned when it comes to the importance of digital transformation, only a minority think that leadership is completely aligned on a road map.

About the Data: MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting conducted a broad-based online survey. It was completed by 1,559 people in 106 countries (the five with the most respondents were: United States, 37%; India, 11%; Canada, 5%; United Kingdom, 4%; Australia, Brazil and Mexico, 3% each). They represent companies and organizations across the business spectrum ”” nearly half (47%) work at companies with less than $250 million in revenues, 10% work at mid-sized companies with between $250 million and $500 million in revenues, 9% at companies with $500 million to $1 billion in sales, and 33% work at organizations with more than $1 billion in revenues, including 11% at companies with more than $20 billion in sales. Respondents span the gamut of functions, from CEO to staff.

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