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UK CEOs frustrated by their digital transformation

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy)

Board members and management teams have ‘unreasonable expectations’ when it comes to digital transformation and the ROI on new technologies, according to a new survey.

Polling 150 CEOs in UK businesses, the majority (72 per cent) is frustrated by how short-sighted board members are. Instead, they’d want their boards to see tech investments as a long-term game. Two thirds (64 per cent) are expecting to see ROI on AI in three to five years after the initial outlay. The same goes for robotics, where 52 per cent of CEOs agree it takes more time.

Still, the disruption is a welcome sight. Almost all, 95 per cent, agree it’s more of an opportunity and less of a threat, but 86 per cent are overwhelmed by the time needed to see any progress.

Also, the report says that half of the polled CEOs doubt the skills of their wider management team. They don’t feel they’re confident enough to manage such a radical change. They’re also sceptical about the usual talk that new tech will make people lose jobs. As a matter of fact, 71 per cent believe AI will create more jobs in the short term.

Lisa Heneghan, partner and digital transformation lead at KPMG UK said: “Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it’s an essential driver of revenue, profit and growth. Business leaders need to move away from simply fulfilling client needs, in sometimes laborious ways, to using technology achieve results with more depth, efficiency, and decrease the probability of error.

“The reality is that digital transformation isn’t a simple change that can be implemented overnight and deliver results straight away. It requires embracement of innovative breakthrough technologies, investment in digital skills, and retraining the existing workforce. This change is needed and for some it is a major turning point, especially for those that have engrained processes, to make the change otherwise there is a real possibility of being left behind by technology first businesses.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Wichy

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.