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Digital investment isn't actually helping many businesses

(Image credit: Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock)

Businesses have increased investment in digital technologies in recent years, but it's not necessarily paying dividends, according to a new report from Accenture.

Based on a poll of 1,550 senior executives, primarily from manufacturing and industrials sectors, the report states that businesses increased investment in digital projects by almost six percent between 2017 and 2019.

As a result, businesses expected at least an 11.3 percent increase in annual revenue, but have only achieved six percent. Two thirds, meanwhile, said no revenue growth at all has been achieved as a result of digital investments.

According to Accenture, digital investments are failing companies for a few reasons, including inter-departmental competition.

“As companies have grown, they have developed silos – centralized functions and divisions that often focus primarily on their internal needs and inhibit collaboration as a result,” said Nigel Stacey, Managing Director and Global Lead for Accenture Industry X.0.

“Now that the crisis is speeding up digital transformation, this old ‘walled garden’ problem is rearing its head again. It isn’t just preventing companies from digitising their businesses as a whole but putting them at risk of slower recovery and stunted growth.”

The report also classified 22 percent of the companies surveyed a “digital champions” - firms that have managed to use digital investment to enhance collaboration. These firms brought in four times the additional revenue as a result of digital investments than other companies.