Digitisation fights its corner

Organisations are trying to shift more of their technology spend toward leveraging technology disruptors to innovate their business models and deliver greater returns. Yet the complexity of digitisation and limited technology budgets in many organisations are still significant barriers to adoption, a survey by Protiviti suggests.

The global consulting firm benchmarks technology leaders’ priorities in a newly-published survey report entitled ‘From Cloud, Mobile, Social, IoT and Analytics to Digitisation and Cybersecurity’. Nearly 400 C-suite executives – most based in the US – participated in the survey to provide feedback on their organisations’ priorities for technology spending in both small and large companies across various sectors.

Protiviti reports that as the scope associated with protecting and growing business value becomes more measurable and data-driven, technology leaders are working to optimise limited spend across business initiatives that potentially add more value to the enterprise. However they are “still tethered to information platforms that consume the majority of budgets (55%) for ‘lights on’ operational and maintenance initiatives and are allocating only 13% to innovation.

Key findings: data-driven shift

Examples of the data-driven shift revealed by the survey findings include the increased adoption of cloud computing (64% invest in this area), digitisation (57%), big data (57%) and agile projects (44%). Organisations in the financial services (70%) and consumer products and retail (67%) industries currently lead the IT innovation charge.

“The opportunities presented by new and emerging technologies are enormous and most businesses will experience some level of disruption in the next few years,” says Jonathan Wyatt, a managing director at Protiviti UK. “Technology leaders will have a key role in driving the wave of change. It is good to see that many businesses are engaged in some form of digital transformation.

“The need to transform is well understood, however many business leaders have yet to recognise the sense of urgency. The impact of the digital revolution is just starting to be felt. The pace of change is increasing rapidly and all businesses need to review continually their digital strategies, to defend their market position and to drive growth.”

Colleague Rubin Ryan adds: “Cyber security and privacy will be key differentiators for the success or failure of digital initiatives and may disrupt organisational innovation efforts if they are not addressed early in the digital transformation life-cycle.

“It is therefore important for organisations to actively prioritise their investment in those cyber security and privacy initiatives that align and enable their digital strategy agenda. By doing so, organisations can redirect some of their IT budget to further innovation and seek to reduce the risk of overspending on controls in legacy environments.”

IT transformation efforts: drivers and obstacles

The survey found that 54% of participating organisations are currently undergoing a major IT transformation and survey respondents reported the following drivers of these initiatives:

  • New functionality                                            53%
  • Cost optimisation                                            43%
  • Operational improvement                             41%
  • Adoption of emerging technology                40%
  • Business/IT alignment                                    38%

At the same time, the following roadblocks are causing challenges for companies as they strive to find new ways to navigate a rapidly changing environment:

  • Legacy infrastructure                                       43%
  • IT culture not agile to change                         39%
  • IT skills gap                                                         37%
  • Legacy processes                                                36%
  • Cost/budget limitations                                    36%

Not surprisingly, different industry sectors have different IT funding priorities. For example, financial services companies spend significantly more of their IT budgets on security (23%), while health care providers devote a higher portion of their IT budgets to IT operations and maintenance (58%).



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