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article imageCompanies likely to fail if they miss digital transformation

By James Walker     Aug 4, 2017 in Technology
54 percent of digital leaders believe their companies will fail if they don't achieve digital transformation at the same time as their industry rivals. Over 80 percent of businesses could be left behind as technology comes to define modern commerce.
The findings show just how important digital transformation will be to the future of business. Over 50 percent of 450 heads of digital strategy at U.S. enterprises fear the consequences of failing digital transformation, according to a study from Couchbase published last week.
As TechRepublic reports, of the respondents to the survey, 89 percent said their industry is being "significantly disrupted" by new digital technology. 80 percent of digital leaders said they were "under pressure" from management to deliver new improvements in customer experience through elements of digital transformation.
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Digital transformation is one of the hottest terms in technology right now. It refers to the far-reaching societal, customer and productivity improvements associated with emerging technologies such as AI and augmented reality. As tech companies warn that "every" business will be digital going forward, Couchbase's study found the message has been taken to heart by digital leaders in the U.S.
80 percent of respondents admitted they believe their company is at risk of collapse if they fail to achieve digital transformation. 73 percent confessed individual fear that they could be fired if a new digital project doesn't deliver its intended benefits. 54 percent put the timeframe for "successful" digital transformation at just four years, saying they expect their company to be gone by 2021 if they don’t digitally transform.
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"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 realizing this trajectory won't enable them to compete effectively in the future," Couchbase CEO Matt Cain said in a press release.
"With 87 percent 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."
Respondents repeatedly cited legacy technology as the biggest impediment to implementing new systems. 84 percent of the leaders involved in the survey said they'd had to delay, cancel or reduce the scope of a new project due to limitations of their existing tech. More often than not, they were reliant on archaic database platforms incapable of scaling to meet modern requirements.
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The study demonstrates that digital transformation is now more than just a buzz word advocated by tech companies. Traditional industries have been convinced by the benefits and interests at stake. Digital leaders are on-board but are also cognizant there are significant barriers to the implementation of transformation strategies.
Further, businesses are unusually aware of what failing to complete their full transformation plan would look like. The majority assume that incomplete or unsuccessful digital transformation would spell the end for their organisation before the middle of the next decade. Digital technology is now ingrained into every industry and major business, the extent of which is made clear by this latest report.
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