- 91% of enterprises have adopted or have plans to adopt a digital-first strategy. Of these enterprises, 48% already have a digital-first approach in place.
- Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today.
- 35% of enterprises have experienced revenue growth due to digital business initiatives over the past 12 months.
- 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are the top technologies being researched by enterprises who are defining digital business strategies.
- Enterprises are planning to spend $15.3M on digital initiatives over the next 12 months. 59% will be allocated to technology, and 41% will be dedicated to people and skills.
These and many other fascinating insights are from the second annual IDG Digital Business study, The State of Digital Business Transformation 2019. You can download a summary of the slides here (7 pp., PDF, opt-in). The survey’s methodology is based on 702 interviews across nine industries with technology, financial services, and business services (consulting, legal and real estate) comprising 43% of all respondents. IDG relied on CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World visitors as their primary respondent base. For additional details regarding the methodology, please see page 2 of the study.
The study’s primary goal was to gain a better understanding of where organizations are in their approaches to becoming digital-first businesses. The study captures the strategies and technologies businesses are adopting to ensure digitally-driven growth with customer experience improvements being proven as a growth catalyst. Key insights from the survey include the following:
- 52% of enterprises define digital business as meeting customer experience expectations, jumping to 65% for financial services enterprises. Customer expectations rule all other categories of how an enterprise defines a digital business. 49% define digital business as enabling worker productivity with mobile apps, data access, and AI-assisted automation. The following graphic compares how enterprises define their digital business. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.
- Mobile devices and apps are enterprises’ platform of choice for launching digital-first strategies in 2019. Mobile apps and the platforms supporting them provide the needed scale, speed-to-market, and performance gains through application-level improvements that all businesses need to gain initial adoption and growth with their digital-first strategies. IDG found that private cloud and business process management are the second- and third-most used technologies to drive digital-first initiatives. Enterprises also have a considerable lead when it comes to mobile app availability: 74% have mobile apps today compared to 51% of SMBs.
- Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the leading three initiatives enterprises have in pilot today as part of their digital-first initiatives. 21% of all organizations surveyed are in one or more IoT pilots, and 20% of organizations are piloting AI and machine learning projects today. Nearly a third of all organizations (29%) have multi-cloud configurations in production today, and 25% have software-defined Wide Area Networks (WANs).
- 57% of enterprises (companies with over 1K employees) say improving new product and service offerings by digitally enabling operations is the single greatest source of revenue growth. Digitally enabling or streamlining new product and development processes and the systems supporting them also improve the ability to innovate and seize new opportunities (49%). It makes sense that once the new product development process is more digitally enabled, an organization will be able to more efficiently launch new capabilities (47% in enterprises) and improve sales capacity including upsell and cross-sell (41% overall).
- Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today. Business Management, including General Managers with P&L responsibility, are placing a high priority on creating a better customer experience, far above all else. They’re the revenue drivers of businesses adopting a digital-first strategy today as well, over 10% higher than IT Management and 12% higher than IT executives.
- In the most successful digital-first businesses, the CIO the most visible, vocal, and successful in leading change management initiatives. Six of the nine core dimensions of a successful digital enablement strategy are dominated by CIOs. Technology Needs Assessment (48%), IT Skills Assessment (48%) and Change Management (33%) are the three areas CIOs are making the greatest contribution to digital-first strategies on the part of their businesses. It’s important to note that CIOs are far and away, the champion and leader of data management strategies as well.
- Enterprises are placing a high priority on data security and protection as part of the digital-first initiatives, with 27% having cybersecurity systems in place. It’s encouraging to see business and IT leaders making data and system security their highest priority, getting results quickly in this area. Technology needs assessment, and IT skills assessment (both 24%) are also areas where enterprises are making strong progress. As the CIO owns these areas and is also the person most likely to be owning change management, it’s understandable how advanced digital-first businesses are on these two dimensions. The following graphic compares the progress enterprises are making in becoming a digitally-driven business.