UK businesses struggling to overcome digital transformation barriers

A lack of engagement from leadership and having to overcome internal ‘red tape’ are two issues holding businesses back from completing digital innovation strategies.

Significant barriers are still holding back organisations from carrying out effective digital innovation, despite the potential opportunity of offers to drive business growth.

According to new research from A.T. Kearney, digital innovation has fallen short of delivering a significant business impact for 59 per cent of European C-suite executives, with integrating new technologies into an existing infrastructure (59 per cent) being the biggest barrier. Over half of respondents (51 per cent) also cited the corporate culture as being an issue.

Further sticking points included a lack of engagement from leadership (41 per cent) and having to overcome internal ‘red tape’ (25 percent).

“Companies need to recognise the disruptive power that lies in digital technologies, and evaluate the practical potential of innovations within their organisation," said Michael Roemer, Partner and EMEA-lead of A.T. Kearney’s Digital Transformation practice. "Therefore, succeeding in an increasingly digital world requires an innovative, forward-thinking approach combined with the practical usage that is focused on solving business problems.

“In order to bring vision to value, established companies must embrace a culture of connectivity that enables innovation across the organisation.”

In terms of the potential business outcomes of digital innovation, over a third (36 per cent) of respondents viewed greater customer acquisition as being the most significant, with 20 per cent citing increased revenue.

Ramyani Basu, Principal at A.T. Kearney, said: “Companies can no longer ignore the impact digitisation can have on all aspects of commerce, including business processes, services, and transactions. Our data demonstrates a significant opportunity for organisations to leverage the power of digital innovation both internally and with an external ecosystem of players to build a long-term competitive advantage across business functions.

"And, while doing that, organisations shouldn’t forget the social responsibility of bringing the whole organisation with them in this digital journey.”

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