Capgemini notes how and why companies still struggle with their digital transformation initiatives

Organisations have hit a wall with regard to digital transformation – perhaps as a result of previously inflated expectations – according to the latest report from Capgemini.

The consultancy firm has put its findings in a report, titled ‘Understanding Digital Mastery Today’, focusing on the differences in company opinion between 2012 and 2018.

There was no change between 2012 and 2018 in terms of organsiations’ digital capabilities, with 39% of the 1,300 global executives polled saying they were capable. When it came to leadership capabilities, the numbers went down over the years, from 45% to 35%, while operational qualities went down further, from 50% to 36%.

One area which went up between 2012 and 2018 was customer experience. 40% of executives now believe they are making headway in a digital context, compared with 34% six years ago. This is an evident factor in how technology has improved operations. The 2012 definition encompassed analytics, location-based marketing, and social media – all being fairly embryonic at that stage. With widespread use of mobile channels and apps among consumers and businesses and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, numbers have gone up accordingly.

Yet the rest of the report makes for grim reading, with the relationship between IT and business worsening, alongside issues with engagement, vision and governance. Only 35% of those polled said they had the required IT-business relationship and leadership capabilities, compared with 56% in 2012.

The report puts respondents into three buckets; beginners, average, and ‘digital masters’ at the top. Looking at emerging technologies, not surprisingly those at the top end are more likely to have succeeded. 61% of ‘digital masters’ say they use IoT technologies to provide pre-emptive customer service remotely, while more than half say they use AI to improve the customer experience (55%) and IoT to understand customer usage patterns (54%). For those at the bottom end, these figures fall to 11%, 20%, and 8% respectively.

So what does Capgemini recommend? Organisations should not be blamed too much for struggling to adapt to the ‘dizzying’ pace of technology innovation, as indeed the rising expectations of markets, employees and customers, but getting the right talent and culture fits are key.

“Six years after our original research, organisations have had time to build capability and experience in driving digital transformation and one would expect the level of digital mastery to have progressed from 2012. However, our research does not find a clear advancement.

“Organisations are still struggling to turn their investments into business successes. But it could also be that organisations were overly optimistic in 2012 and have now realised the magnitude of the challenge, coupled with rising expectations of markets, employees, and customers.”

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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