Those businesses willing to adequately budget for real digital transformations will reap the subsequent rewards, new research published today by Vodafone finds.
In its study of British business leaders, 79% of those surveyed say digital transformation is a "strategic priority" and they're anxious to leverage its full potential. Those prioritizing digital transformations are more optimistic about their company's growth, with 50% saying they were confident about their firm's future. In comparison, only 17% of those executives who classify digital transformation as a low priority are very confident about their organization's future growth, the study finds.
In "Digital, Ready?", Vodafone quantifies the sometimes-fuzzy idea of digital transformation -- critical to organizations' continued or increasing investment in company-wide, integrated or holistic technologies designed to overhaul all or many practices in a complete or major manner. With any business investment, there's scrutiny to determine the return -- not only whether there is ROI, but the speed of that return, the extent, and impact, ripple effects (good and bad), plus any ability to replicate in other departments or countries' offices.
The term itself is quite nebulous, and Vodafone's survey quickly discovered respondents were almost evenly split among two of the top three areas of focus: Increasing productivity (41%), increasing efficiency (39%), and improving customer experience (32%). Other aims included reaching new customers (30%), developing new products and services (25%) and abbreviating time-to-market (20%). The 2,001 business leaders polled were spread among Britain's largest enterprises and public-sector agencies to one-person operations and small businesses.
"The smallest digital steps can have a real impact on the growth and success of an organisation. Implementing the right new technology is helping businesses become smarter, more creative and more efficient," said Anne Sheehan, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, in a release.
Given providers' lead undergoing their own digital transformation and their use of multiple high-end technologies, plus ownership of mandatory high-speed broadband networks, it makes sense for businesses to view their cableco, ISP or telco as their potential trusted advisor. It is their role to earn, let's say, with a lot riding on the existing relationship; the success of the recommendations, deployments, support and ongoing rapport, as well as the size of the deal and company. A lot of service providers from multiple ecosystems will, for example, pursue Walt Disney; fewer will seek a contract with Walt's Deli, regardless of how nice he is or how great his sandwiches.
In a blog he wrote earlier this year, Colt Technology Services CEO Carl Grivner discussed the ongoing necessity of digital transformation -- and the ultimate wish to drop "digital" from the term, given the complexity and multi-faceted nature of this ongoing alteration and rebirth of an organization.
"What’s interesting to me though, is that the concept of ‘achieving digital transformation’ seems slightly paradoxical, because it remains to be seen if it is, in fact, a process that is open and closed," Grivner wrote. "Eventually, we may well drop the word ‘digital,' because it’s business transformation that does not have an endpoint. Rather it’s a moving target or a continuous state of change organizations find themselves in."
(Go to next page to see the numbers add up in an infographic from Vodafone.)
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Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
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