Unisys-Sponsored Study Shows IT Executives Struggling with Transition to Digital Business Model
- 54 percent assess progress toward a digital model as only average or below
- 55 percent view quality of end-user/customer service as key 2016 challenge
- 65 percent see modifying IT resources and processes as an immediate priority
- Less than 20 percent report major progress in priority IT areas
- 70 percent are delivering personalised end-user services
London, UK – March 2, 2016 – New research from Unisys Corporation shows that IT and business professionals in the United States and Europe understand the value of adopting a digital business model but struggle to find the best way to engineer it to deliver the greatest value to employees and customers.
The digital business model represents the convergence of social technology, cloud, mobility, data analytics and security to drive new business models and engage, enable and support an increasingly tech-savvy workforce and customer base. The IT infrastructure enabling digital business transformation must be flexible and scalable on demand.
The 188 respondents to the survey – conducted for Unisys by IDG Research – appreciate that digital business transformation provides the key to elevating levels of service to those demanding internal and external constituencies: 55 percent cite that service requirement as their key challenge for 2016.
In addition, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents consider it highly important for their organisations to modify technology, IT processes or IT resources over the next 12 months to implement digital business, focusing especially on five key priority areas: mobile application development, cloud deployment, social media, data analytics and security.
Yet 54 percent assess their organization’s progress toward a digital-business model that delivers on user expectations as average or below average (32 and 22 percent, respectively), while 45 percent rate progress above average.
In addition, less than 20 percent of respondents who rate each of the five IT focus areas as critical or high priority for digital-business implementation report significant progress in any one area. Few indicate that their organisation is ready to meet customer expectations over the next 12 months: only 41 percent indicate that their technology or infrastructure is prepared, while 40 percent and 39 percent, respectively, rate their IT skill sets and security/compliance strategies as adequate.
Respondents who consider each of the five IT initiatives as at least a moderate priority report the greatest progress in two areas: 69 percent cite at least some progress in both mobile application development and cloud deployment, but cite less significant progress in social media, data analytics and security.
The Imperative for Action – and Signs of Progress
“Digital business can be a powerful force for enhanced productivity and competitive differentiation in a crowded marketplace,” said Dan Huberty, vice president, Vision, Strategy and Enterprise Architecture, Unisys. “However, the window for seizing the initiative is rapidly narrowing. Smart IT organisations must take steps now to implement a concerted digital-business strategy and infrastructure or risk missing a golden opportunity for innovation and growth.”
Many respondents to the survey do indicate that their organisations are making progress in areas crucial for delivering the benefits of digital business. For example, a third (34 percent) of respondents say that their organisations are struggling to deliver improved end-user and customer experiences, but 70 percent indicate that they are delivering persona-based service to support internal IT users (and another 15 percent of respondents would like to do so).
Persona-based services are personalised to the job or service requirements of a specific role, extending to internal users the principles of customer relationship management (CRM) that normally apply to external customers. The digital business model is a natural vehicle for CRM and other applications that rely on unified delivery of personalized, integrated information from multiple sources.
Unisys believes that digital businesses perform best when they transform into software-defined enterprises in which key enabling technologies are based on and connected through software to enable greater flexibility and scalability at lower cost than hardware-heavy data centers – the traditional hubs of enterprise IT. Service management for personalised delivery of vital productivity services and service integration and management for cost-efficient coordination of multiple external service providers are key to the success of the software-defined digital business.
About the Research
IDG Research conducted the survey on Unisys’ behalf in September and October 2015. The results are based on responses from 188 IT directors and vice-presidents in non-IT roles working for international organisations with 500-plus employees and U.S. organisations of 1,000-plus employees. The respondents were based in the United States, UK and Germany.
Unisys is a global information technology company that works with many of the world's largest companies and government organisations to solve their most pressing IT and business challenges. Unisys specialises in providing integrated, leading-edge solutions to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. With more than 20,000 employees serving clients around the world, Unisys offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, security solutions, and high-end server technology. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
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