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article image'Widening gap' between digital transformation winners and losers

By James Walker     Nov 2, 2017 in Technology
Global digital transformation investments will increase to $1.7tn by the end of 2019, up 42% from 2017. Enterprises are spending big on new tech as the race to transform heats up. However, there are concerns over the divide between leaders and laggards.
Spending on new digital projects shows no signs of slowing down. Analysts IDC said there are signs that "digital maturity" is developing in companies across the world. In its new digital transformation predictions, the firm set out how demand for modern technologies and cloud platforms will drive investment over the next three years.
Getting more digital
The acceleration of digital transformation is causing companies to take a hard look at their current operations. Many are restructuring around their digital initiatives, including staffing changes and a revised pitch to investors. By the end of 2018, over 40 percent of organizations will employ a fully staffed digital leadership team, indicating the importance of human resources to technological initiatives.
Transformation isn't an easy task though. Over the past few months, there have been signs that firms are struggling to adapt. Strategies often fail, are cancelled or have to be scaled back. IDC repeated the warnings, noting there is a "widening gap" between firms that succeed and those that do not. Acquiring new technologies doesn't guarantee a successful business transformation.
"While we are seeing more companies becoming more digitally capable, there is a widening gap between leaders and laggards, with significant implications for those organizations that cannot make the transition to a digital-native organization," said Shawn Fitzgerald, IDC research director for Worldwide Digital Transformation Strategies.
Competing with time
The biggest challenge for companies seems to be completing their transformation within the necessary timeframe. With many larger enterprises likely to have implemented their strategies before 2021, time is running out for their rivals to catch up.
As ITProPortal reports, a separate study released today by CenturyLink found digital transformation tends to take between three and six years to achieve. Firms evaluating strategies today may have already lost the race to digital leadership. Problems including legacy technologies and a lack of internal resources are amongst the setbacks encountered by struggling firms.
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With digital transformation taking off, it's becoming apparent there could be many losers in the next business revolution. The shift towards the digital economy is now well underway, with IDC predicting combined investment of over $6.3 trillion between 2018 and 2020.
Firms will increasingly compete on their digital competence and data resources, distancing themselves from less advanced competitors. More companies are embracing the concepts on the table but not every investment will always pay off.
More about digital transformation, digital disruption, Business, business tech, enterprise tech
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