Four in five organisations concerned digital transformation is leaving them behind

Another day, another report which warns against slow progress when it comes to digital transformation: according to a study from Couchbase, 80% of organisations are at risk of being left behind.

The survey from the NoSQL database firm, which polled 450 heads of digital transformation – in other words, CIOs, CTOs and CDOs (chief digital officers) – found that the vast majority (89%) said their industry was either already being disrupted by digital technology or that it was a ‘matter of time’.

95% of respondents agreed that the ultimate goal of digital transformation was to give customers and end users a truly unique experience.

80% of IT leaders said they were under pressure to constantly improve their organisation’s customer experience, while almost three quarters (73%) admitted their jobs could be at risk as the result of a poorly implemented digital project.

The study also looked at factors affecting digital transformation – and naturally, given Couchbase’s modus operandi, the limitations of current database technology. 86% of respondents said lack of agility was a concern when developing new applications, while only one in five (19%) said their current database would be able to handle the demands of emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Our study puts a spotlight on the harsh reality that despite allocating millions of dollars towards digital transformation projects, most companies are only seeing marginal returns and realising this trajectory won’t enable them to compete effectively in the future,” said Matt Cain, Couchbase CEO in a statement. “With 87% of IT leaders concerned that their revenue will drop if they don’t significantly improve their customers’ experiences, it’s critical that they focus on projects designed to increase customer engagement.”

For Couchbase itself, the company announced a series F funding round of $30 million in March last year with all the signs pointing to an imminent IPO. The company’s CEO at the time, Bob Wiederhold – now executive chairman – told this reporter that the financing would lead to “what we think will be a very successful IPO in the not too distant future,” although no more has been said on that matter to date.

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