CEOs finally see digital transformation as top priority

Digital transformation efforts are finally hotting up across the world as executives grasp the power of new technology.

A new report from BT has revealed that multinational businesses are increasingly seeing the benefits of digital transformation, despite concerns about security and a lack of applicable skills.

Surveying 400 CEOs across 13 countries including the UK and USA, the study found that nearly 40 per cent of CEOs currently have digital transformation at the very top of their boardroom agenda, with almost a quarter of them personally leading their company’s transformation programmes.

The study also found that there is a strong level of optimism amongst these CEOs, with three quarters saying that their specific digital transformation efforts would help them achieve their strategic objectives, with operational efficiencies, improved customer service and more secure innovation all ranked highly.

However digital transformation was not without its challenges, the survey found, with 86 per cent of CEOs saying that had faced some kind of hurdle to overcome. 

Inflexible technology (43 per cent), lack of technology skills (40 per cent) and security concerns (39 per cent) were all identified as the major obstacles in building better digital infrastructure. 

In order to overcome these obstructions, the CEOs highlighted a range of factors, including a need for better integration, reliability, security and cost effectiveness as being critical in delivering the infrastructure which will build the digital business of the future.

“Our most recent research confirms that digital transformation has become a prevalent topic on the boardroom agenda," said Bas Burger, BT CEO, global services. 

"It also shows that CEOs all around the world identify the skills shortages, lack of insight into what customers and employees really want or need, and security as the main obstacles to delivering an optimal digital experience. It’s interesting that these are primarily human factors and it illustrates that digital transformation strategies should always be built around people. We see this as a great encouragement for BT to accelerate its own digitalisation, and are taking on board this new insight to make sure that our global portfolio is more firmly positioned than ever around the strategic objectives highlighted by our customers.”