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9 out of 10 digital transformation projects will fail

The survey from Couchbase found that 90 percent of digital transformation projects have either fallen below planning expectations, delivered only minor improvements or altogether failed. The NoSQL database vendor surveyed 450 CIOs, CTOs and digital leaders at companies with over 1,000 employees in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.
According to the survey respondents, problems usually occur due to a lack of business agility. The scope, scale and requirements of digital projects can shift significantly during their implementation. When these projects are completed in the context of a large enterprise, they are limited by existing processes that don’t possess the same flexibility.

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This has created a disparity between businesses in traditional industries and start-ups focused on tech. Members of the latter group tend to be implicitly focused on the aims of transformation: improved productivity and an extended customer experience. Larger businesses stand to benefit the most from digital transformation but often find themselves constrained by the nature of their industry.
Specific challenges cited by the survey respondents included a lack of preparation within the organisation and a restrictive reliance on legacy technology. A combination of these problems means most companies find themselves unable to implement their digital transformation strategies, even if the original plan is sound.
This matters because an overwhelming majority of the business leaders surveyed agreed a successful digital transformation will be critical to the future success of their company. 73 percent said their industry is being disrupted by new technology, with a further 16 percent saying they expect a transition to be just a matter of time.

54 percent of IT leaders say their businesses will fail if they don t digitally transform within fou...

54 percent of IT leaders say their businesses will fail if they don’t digitally transform within four years
rawpixel.com / Pexels


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The consequences for firms that don’t adapt could be severe. Couchbase previously reported that 54 percent of companies expect to fail if they miss the impending digital transformation revolution. Companies are desperately trying to avoid being made irrelevant by the next Amazon or Uber. However, with only a small minority of digital projects succeeding, the CIOs and CTOs responsible for their implementation are becoming increasingly concerned.
Couchbase warned that enterprises are facing a “stark choice” as they move to put their transformation plans into motion. Companies need to balance the maintenance of their legacy systems with the introduction of modern customer-first alternatives. As entire industries migrate to digital approaches, studying success stories will be vital to installing satisfactory implementations.

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