There's no doubt that the ability to adapt and embrace change is not merely an advantage but a necessity for surviving with today's relentless pace of innovation. Our new report 'IT Leaders in the Eye of the Storm' which shared the perspectives of 1500 IT leaders, found that innovation in digital technology is moving quickly and even those who are currently happy with their systems recognise the need to upgrade solutions to stay level with competitors. In this blog, we'll delve into the key findings and share insights from those at the forefront of their organisations’ digital strategy.
85% of IT leaders say they intend to upgrade their digital systems
This is a huge percentage, however it's not necessarily surprising due to the rapid pace of technological change. Organisations are under increasing pressure to adapt and evolve, making system upgrades a crucial part of staying competitive.
Upgrading digital systems can streamline operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. It can also increase the user experience by improving collaboration and giving them the tools they need to perform their roles, and benefit customers through quicker response times and personalisation. Additionally, the sophistication of cyber threats is on the rise, making security enhancements through system upgrades essential for protecting sensitive data.
This percentage may also be down to current systems not being fit-for-purpose, with the report finding that 34% state their finance team doesn’t have the right systems, and another 34% say product & service development. 32% say HR lacks the digital solutions it needs and 32% tell us they require better solutions for supply chain management.
51% of IT professionals rate digital transformation as their top priority for the coming year
This finding underscores the pivotal role technology plays in today's business landscape. One of the key factors that could be driving this is the rise of generative AI, which is set to mark the beginning of a new, AI-driven transformation era.
Generative AI, with its ability to create new content and algorithms, offers immense potential to revolutionise business processes and increase efficiencies. From automating routine tasks to generating insights from vast amounts of data, generative AI can significantly enhance productivity and decision-making capabilities. Companies looking to stay competitive must therefore prioritise integrating such advanced technologies into their operations.
Digital transformation, however, extends beyond the incorporation of AI. It involves embedding digital technologies into all areas of a business, from operations and customer service to marketing and human resources. This holistic transformation enables businesses to gather and analyse data more effectively, leading to better, more informed decisions.
In an era characterised by rapid change and uncertainty, digital transformation also equips businesses with the agility to respond quickly to opportunities and shifts in demand. This makes it clear to see the importance of having sophisticated systems which enable organisations to take advantage of new technologies, and the power of data to inform future strategy.
51% of IT leaders say their infrastructure would be improved with better systems integration
Nowadays companies usually rely on a large number of different systems, solutions, and IT providers for their IT estate. This creates a complex landscape that can be challenging to manage and ensure all work in harmony and deliver value. As organisations shift towards cloud-based solutions, it's important to ensure integration and compatibility between on-premises and cloud applications.
Integrating systems can increase operational efficiency by enabling different systems and applications to communicate and work together, which eliminates data silos and streamlines processes. Additionally, integrated systems allow for a unified view of business data, which is crucial for data-driven decision making. From a security perspective, an integrated system simplifies cyber security strategies by providing a comprehensive view of the organisation's cyber landscape, making it easier to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities.
22% of IT leaders are still using on-premises systems only
It may well be that the pressure on resources from other, more pressing priorities has led to a slower migration to the cloud. Although on-premises systems can be beneficial for control and security reasons, organisations using solely on-premises technology are likely to be also relying on legacy systems. This is risky, as legacy systems are unable to keep pace with required updates and may soon be no longer supported. This leaves them vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the organisation will likely fall behind due to a lack of agility.
What this means for the year ahead
The relentless pace of technological change, coupled with the pressures on IT leaders to maintain competitive edge, has made agility and adaptability in digital strategy crucial. The landscape is increasingly complex, with numerous systems and providers to synchronise for seamless operation. Given the considerable challenges of upgrading legacy systems, safeguarding against sophisticated cyber threats, and integrating disparate solutions, it is unsurprising that organisations are increasingly outsourcing IT functions to a trusted partner who can provide guidance and lift the burden of these demands. In our next blog, we will be exploring the report findings on barriers to change, looking at why some organisations struggle to modernise systems and how they can move ahead.
To read the report in full, download it for free here (select the 'IT Leaders' option).