New research commissioned by leading digital transformation and marketing agency Paragon DCX has revealed that close to half of businesses in the UK (44%) are not creating a culture and technology environment which enables them to respond quickly to opportunities and threats.
The research, conducted by London Research, sought to discover whether the focus of businesses today should revert back to the characteristics that make a company more competitive in any era of constant change – a strong, adaptable culture, operational effectiveness, and a customer-centric mindset. But with the difference that these are now all enabled by digital.
The report, entitled Digital transformation is dead. Long live business agility., reveals that buy-in from the CEO and company leadership team is critical for ongoing investment in digital initiatives, and this investment typically depends on demonstrating commercial value in the form of tangible financial benefits. Worryingly though, less than half of organisations (49%) think the impact of digital transformation on revenues is very measurable. The risk of no return remains a significant barrier to digital investment.
When it comes to prioritising digital transformation initiatives, from amongst the 300 senior business leaders surveyed, the two biggest gaps are in providing digital business training to drive change (medium to low priority for 59%) and pursuing new business models to future-proof the business (medium to low priority for 54%).
Companies are no longer using small-scale digital efficiencies to prove the need for the transformation of the business. They recognise they have to change their culture and structure to meet the demands of today's digital-first world, but it appears they may be struggling to cope with the pace of technological change and the scale of business agility required.
Speaking on the findings, Peter Paterson, managing director at Paragon DCX, commented: "In the aftermath of Covid-19, organisations that have adapted to disruption in their business environment are in better shape than their competitors to survive an economic downturn or industry crisis. We have seen from our own clients across a range of industries how digitising business operations has improved everything from productivity to user experience and has resulted in faster revenue growth compared to competitors. However, it appears many organisations across the UK still need help in prioritising initiatives, getting C-suite buy-in, and creating a culture of change."
Paterson continued: "We know this research will act as interesting food for thought to help UK businesses on their digital transformation journey and, hopefully, it will provide the ammunition to ignite change. What is clear is that, to succeed, leadership teams need to set the right cultural example required for genuine transformative progress. Heads of different business functions need to come together to help break down silos, with collaboration and innovation encouraged across the organisation. Collectively and individually, an agile mindset is crucial in enabling companies to respond quickly to opportunities and threats in the market."
The report recommends that companies should adopt an iterative 'land-and-expand' approach to transformation, starting with small-scale proofs of concept and low-risk experimentation. Successful projects can then be scaled without over-committing, and with the ability to change course quickly if necessary. However, the focus always needs to be on an improved employee and customer experience. Without this, businesses will find it hard to survive.
The report, Digital transformation is dead. Long live business agility, can be downloaded from https://paragon-dcx.com/thoughts/digital-transformation-research
About Paragon DCX
DCX is the full-service digital transformation and marketing agency arm of Paragon. We combine the power of data with compelling creative and digital technology to help brands connect better with their customers to deliver better outcomes.
With deep experience across numerous industries, working with brands such as FirstGroup, Nespresso, Levi Strauss & Co., Aviva, JD Williams, Greene King, Met Office, and Health Education England, to drive better customer engagement, capture insights for better decisions, streamline business operations, and drive commercial growth, our skill-set extends across strategy, digital products and platforms, data and AI, and crafting effective communications – anything that delivers business impact.
About London Research
London Research, set up by former Econsultancy research director Linus Gregoriadis, is focused on producing research-based content for B2B audiences. We are based in London, but our approach and outlook are very much international. We work predominantly, but not exclusively, with marketing technology (martech) vendors and agencies seeking to tell a compelling story based on robust research and insightful data points.
As part of Communitize Ltd, we work closely with our sister companies Digital Doughnut (a global community of more than 1.5 million marketers) and Demand Exchange (a lead generation platform), both to syndicate our research and generate high-quality leads.
Source: Paragon DCX