The pace of digital transformation may be slowing, but there’s still plenty of work ahead

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Digital transformation efforts – which have been happening at a breakneck pace over the past two years – are showing signs of slowing down. Company cultures can only absorb so many changes at once. Additionally, legacy technology and data integration are two pain points that hold things back. These factors can delay digital transformation efforts for weeks or even months.

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

These observations emerge from a recent survey of 1,150 executives from all Workday disciplines, which found that 58% of business leaders say digital transformation has already slowed, or is seeing it slow – compared to the pace of 2020. This isn’t necessarily surprising, since the 2020-21 period meant digitize or die for many organizations, and many five-year digitization plans were whittled down to five days.

However, the recent digital rush has left many issues unresolved – or revealed some issues. Namely, everyone wanna be digitally transformed, but 55% say their digital strategies, as they are, can’t keep pace with their business.

Many factors are at play. For example, while businesses have relied heavily on managers and IT professionals to achieve data-driven transformation, many are constrained by legacy systems and data silos. Only 42% of IT professionals surveyed are confident in their teams’ ability to adopt cloud technologies without legacy constraints. Additionally, half of IT managers (50%) struggle to keep pace with service upgrades under legacy technology. Nearly six in ten, 59%, say changing an automated business process can take weeks or months.

Here are the priorities for IT and business leaders for the coming year:

  • Security and Compliance (52%)
  • Unifying technology (45%)
  • Data integration (42%)
  • Ease of using data (37%)
  • Skills and talent (33%)
  • Technology for efficiency (32%)

The survey also involved finance and human resources executives. For finance leaders, data is seen as the key to digital success. Sixty-one percent really want technology that unifies finance, people, and operational data. More than half (51%) believe the most important technology approach today is to integrate data between disparate systems and break down internal data silos. At the same time, 64% agree that it takes weeks – or more – to see results at the end of a period of reporting.

The digital rush may have died down for now, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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