According to a new study from Dell Technologies on the Digital Transformation Index (the DT Index), more than a third of business in the UK expect to disrupt their market. Whilst this is a positive result, more than a quarter (27%) still believe they’ll be disrupted, and over a third (35%) are simply uncertain as to whether they will disrupt or not, suggesting UK businesses are in the middle of a disruption battle.
The DT Index, which was completed in collaboration with Intel, maps digital transformation progress of mid to large-sized companies and examines the digital hopes and fears of business leaders around the world. For the UK it paints a picture of change; with almost a quarter (22%) of respondents stating that they are concerned that they will struggle to meet changing customer demands within five years and just under one in four (19%) fearing that their organisation will be left behind.
However, many businesses are taking pre-emptive action and have plans in place to mitigate the changes they see ahead by investing in emerging technologies, prioritising investments in cyber security (58% plan investments in the next one-three years), multi-cloud environments (50%), Artificial Intelligence (37%) and IoT (35%).
“We’ve talked about being on the cusp of tremendous change for some time now. That’s no longer the case,” comments Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President Dell EMC UKI. “The next digital era has arrived and it’s reshaping the way we live, work and conduct business. Which means that time is of the essence. Genuine transformation needs to happen now, and it needs to be radical.”
Yet while just 5% of UK businesses have been classified as digital leaders (defined as digital transformation, in its various forms, being ingrained in the DNA of the business), the Digital Adopters group (the second most digitally mature cohort of businesses) has grown from 12% in 2016 to 22% in 2018, indicating UK businesses are readying themselves for the disruption that lies ahead.
Barriers to digital transformation
According to the research, 91% of UK businesses are facing major impediments to digital transformation today. The top five barriers to digital transformation are:
- Lack of budget and resources
- Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns
- Lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise
- Regulation or legislative changes
- Information overload
Conquering their challenges
The research indicates that businesses are taking steps to overcome barriers, responding to the threat of disruption, and being outmaneuvered from more nimble, innovative players. Since 2016, more businesses are embracing agile software development (up 11%), sharing knowledge across business functions (up 23%) and building security into all devices and apps (up 5%).
“It’s an exciting time for UK businesses as we hit a crucial intersection – where technology, business and mankind meet to create a better, more connected world,” added Claire Vyvyan, Senior Vice President UK&I Commercial at Dell EMC. “However, only technology-centered organisations will reap the rewards offered by a digital business model, including the ability to move quickly, to automate everything and to delight customers. This is why digital transformation needs to be a number one priority.”