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5 key findings for riding the new wave of transformation

Juni 29, 2023 / Unisys Corporation

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Align technology, talent and business strategies to fully embrace digital transformation and drive success.
  • Unlock business breakthroughs and thrive in the digital landscape by prioritizing a forward-looking talent strategy.
  • Harness the power of cloud maturity to unlock innovation and leverage technologies like AI for business growth.
  • Strengthen your cybersecurity defenses and combat sophisticated threats by evolving to a resilient model, such as adopting the Zero Trust approach.

The C-suite and IT have plenty in common. Drive. Determination. Laser focus on objectives. However, when it comes to digital transformation, differing objectives can pose problems.

Amid a rapidly changing landscape, flawless execution of digital transformation is essential, especially considering the significant investments organizations are making in cloud technologies. Cloud power is driving the next wave of digital transformation, which is crucial for fostering innovation and remaining competitive and relevant. To stay ahead, organizations must embrace a strategic and adaptable approach that balances human and technological elements.

According to the Unisys Cloud Insights Report – 2023, about 85% of organizations are starting to invest or are increasing their cloud investments, with 37% planning significant increases. However, without strategic alignment between the C-suite and IT, digital transformation progress could stall, leaving organizations vulnerable to competitors and negatively impacting key areas, such as customer satisfaction, product innovation and talent acquisition.

To shed light on how organizations are approaching this next wave of digital transformation, Unisys surveyed business and technology leaders in key markets. The resulting findings have been distilled into five key takeaways, empowering you to benchmark your organization's progress and inspire alignment on critical areas of digital transformation.

#1: Ignite your innovation potential by prioritizing cloud maturity

With increased cloud adoption, organizations are experiencing tangible benefits, such as accelerated time-to-market and AI adoption. In fact, more than 44% report spending $101 million or more on cloud in 2022, recognizing its role in driving business innovation and digital transformation.

Despite these investments, there is still progress to be made in increasing cloud maturity so organizations can reap the full value of digital investments. About 45% of respondents indicate that most of their assets are in the cloud, but only 19% have reached post-migration, missing a valuable opportunity.

About 36% of organizations are either planning for cloud adoption or are in the initial adoption phase, signaling the need to catch up with cloud maturity trailblazers.

Cloud maturity is a prerequisite for innovation and a gateway to leveraging promising technologies — like AI — for business growth. Our study reveals that cloud-mature organizations are much further along in their AI maturity and are more confident that they understand the full ethical issues of AI.

#2: Harness AI to supercharge productivity and gain a cutting-edge advantage

Despite the growing focus on AI, a mere 15% of organizations have truly integrated it into their business DNA, missing the potential of becoming intelligent enterprises. By embracing AI as a cornerstone of decision-making and strategy, organizations can unlock transformative benefits, such as improved business decisions, streamlined operations and enhanced customer satisfaction.

But to do that, AI needs data. Organizations with strong data practices that believe they are “ready” for heightened levels of data ownership, privacy and security are more likely to be further along in their AI journey. They are also more likely to say data has improved their decision-making (84% ready vs. 77% not ready) and that it has provided a high ROI (82% vs. 78%).

#3: Align C-suite and IT priorities for transformative success

Rather than conflict, the C-suite and IT should be in sync with their approach to the cloud. However, split attention and investments are taking them in different directions. The misalignment between the C-Suite and IT — from cloud drivers to talent challenges to ethical AI — undermines progress, dividing attention and investments in competing directions.

Another fundamental difference in outlook involves their expectations. About 68% of IT leaders expect to see ROI within a year versus 57% of the C-suite. They agree on two reasons cloud projects fail: a disconnect between cloud strategies and business objectives and an incorrect migration approach. However, IT also believes a lack of strategic planning is to blame, while the C-suite points the finger at a lack of clearly defined KPIs.

That disconnect between cloud strategy and business objectives is the most reported reason for cloud migration projects to fail (53%). For successful digital transformation, it is important to share a set of priorities to drive the technology investments that follow.

#4:  Unleash technological breakthroughs through upskilling and reskilling

Organizations must prioritize a forward-looking talent strategy to thrive in the evolving digital landscape. After all, the speed of innovation depends on the skill of your talent, so it’s important to upskill and reskill your workforce to keep pace with technological change. Our research reveals key challenges and actions for success.

Upskilling and reskilling are top priorities, with 40% of organizations focusing on keeping teams updated on new skills and technology. Communication and business strategy skills are also in high demand, with 34% struggling to find individuals with strong personal skills and 32% facing challenges in hiring talent with a blend of technology and business expertise.

By investing in continuous learning and bridging skills gaps, organizations can position themselves to leverage technological breakthroughs and drive innovation. A forward-looking talent strategy ensures adaptability and competitiveness in the digital era.

#5: Embrace a resilient cybersecurity model

Cybercriminals are getting faster and more sophisticated, leveraging AI and machine learning for their attacks. A staggering 83% of organizations know security risks, with 78% believing a breach is likely to occur. This underscores the critical importance of fortifying defenses to mitigate potential damage.

To enhance resilience, organizations should consider adopting the Zero Trust model, which emphasizes continuous authentication and authorization of all users. Surprisingly, only 43% of organizations have adopted this effective security model. There is room for optimism, though – approximately 46% are in the process of moving to Zero Trust, and 11% are in the early stages of planning to adopt it in the future.

A comprehensive and collaborative approach is necessary to strengthen organizations’ security postures. By reducing vulnerabilities across their digital footprint and embracing shared responsibility, organizations can navigate the evolving threat landscape with confidence.

Navigate the path to transformation

Organizations must fully commit to digital transformation to thrive in a future of autonomous, intelligent and connected business. By establishing a strong cloud foundation, fostering collaboration between tech and business leaders and nurturing the right talent, organizations can seize the opportunities presented by this paradigm shift and navigate the exciting changes. The future is here, waiting for those bold enough to embrace it.

Download our report, From Barriers to Breakthroughs: Unlocking Growth Opportunities with Cloud-Enabled Innovation, Unisys Cloud Insights Report – 2023, for a deeper look into our five key findings.

Explore how Cloud Management solutions from Unisys make it easier to move workloads to the cloud and help you benefit from increased agility and cost savings.

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