Businesses face a ‘digital ceiling’ when it comes to digital transformation, according to new research from Infosys Knowledge Institute (IKI), the research arm of digital services and consulting firm Infosys.
The Infosys Digital Radar 2020 report assessed the digital transformation efforts of companies against a Digital Maturity Index and found that while most were achieving year-on-year progress in basic areas, such as digital initiatives to improve a company’s efficiency, they were failing to implement more advanced transformation initiatives to improve customer experiences and engagement or respond more quickly to customer needs.
IKI’s analysis shows that while there has been an 18% rise in companies moving from the Watchers to the Explorers tier, the size of the Visionary cluster is largely unchanged.
It identifies two qualities businesses need to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and reach a higher level of maturity:
1 Successful companies focus strongly on people, using digital transformation to make improvements centred on customers and employees. While 68% of the 1,000 companies surveyed stated operational efficiency and increased productivity as their main transformation objectives, companies in the Visionary cluster are particularly motivated to make improvements for their employees. Nearly half of Visionaries describe ‘empowering employees’ as a major business objective for transformation, compared to less than one third of Explorers and less than one fifth of Watchers. Visionaries also have an increased focus on customer-centred initiatives, being significantly more likely than other clusters to undertake transformation to improve customer experiences and engagement and to respond more quickly to customer needs; and
2 Successful companies have a different mindset when it comes to transformation processes. Instead of traditional linear transformations that involve such long timelines that improvements are out of date by the time they are implemented, top performers have a cyclical mindset and prefer to implement recurring rapid feedback loops to accelerate transformation and keep updates relevant. The Visionary cluster is far ahead of others in digital initiatives tied to quick cycles: 75% operate at scale in Agile and DevOps, compared with an average of 34% for the entire survey group.