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What it takes to be a digital transformation leader

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 5, 2017
Here are the four things organisations that are fully committed to digital transformation are doing.

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Credit: GraphicStock

A digital transformation leader is focused on true transformation and avoids episodic, piecemeal changes, according to SAP's Digital Transformation Executive Study: 4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart.

Out of the top 100 organisations polled, 96 percent of them have digital transformation as a core business goal. Most (93 percent) also see technology as a critical or very important factor to retaining competitive advantage.

Besides that, the study revealed that digital transformation leaders usually begin their efforts by looking outwards -- 92 percent of them reported having mature digital transformation strategies and processes in place to improve the customer experience.

This seems to have bore fruit, with 70 percent claiming that they have experienced significant or transformational value from digital transformation in customer satisfaction and engagement.

Digital leaders were also found to be talent-driven. Nearly half (48 percent) of them said that investing in digital skills and technology is most important for driving revenue in the next two years.

In addition, two-thirds of them have eliminated process roadblocks that interfered with their employees' ability to do their jobs.

As such, 64 percent of the leaders said digital transformation has enabled their employees to be more engaged, while 90 percent expect to see more engagement within the next two years.

In terms of technology investment, the top 100 companies were found to be investing in next-generation technologies such as big data (94 percent), internet of things (76 percent) and machine learning (50 percent).

Apart from that, 62 percent of them have created agile teams that can discover, respond to, and adapt quickly to advances in such technologies in order to gain competitive advantage.

The report concluded by advising companies that want to catch up to the leaders to stop doing piecemeal IT projects and stop treating IT as the enabler of business rather than a strategic partner.

Those companies should also stop handing off responsibility for digital transformation to a siloed group and then complaining when it doesn't deliver any significant changes.


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