Majority of UK businesses approaching transformation without a plan


The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation but lack of strategy is leading to barriers

99% of businesses in the UK see digitalisation as critical, yet nearly half are lacking a digital transformation strategy, according to the latest research from Pulsant, the UK’s hybrid cloud specialists.

While 84% of IT-decision makers say their businesses has a clear vision for transformation, just 42% have an established plan in place and 11% admit that that transformation is unplanned and ad-hoc. A further 11% have no idea where to start.

Digital transformation strategies appear to be held back by barriers such as accessing the right skills and systems, and problems establishing a company culture that embraces digitalisation. The majority (87%) of business leaders say their location makes it challenging to hire and retain skills. Over half (52%) say integrating new systems and applications with legacy infrastructure is a significant barrier and 40% say their culture or structure doesn’t support or enable digital change.

Concerns about transformation are also holding businesses back from reaching their digital potential. Four in 10 IT decision-makers are worried about managing the complexity that comes with digital transformation. A third (34%) have concerns about the security of business-critical applications and 32% fear they won’t be able to keep the business running around the clock.

Despite these challenges, progress has been made with 65% of IT-decision makers saying their organisation is ‘mostly’ digitalised. Three quarters admit that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation initiatives with 62% saying transformation has moved ahead by more than six months. However, transformation was not necessarily planned with two-thirds of IT decision-makers admitting they were forced to revisit their infrastructure strategy with the top reasons being security and compliance concerns (54%), the need to transition more workloads to cloud (45%) and better access to infrastructure (40%).

While 89% of IT decision-makers are confident in the resilience of their IT infrastructure, only 68% believe their current IT infrastructure is fit for purpose for their organisation’s future needs which highlights that more robust are strategies are required. 

“The pandemic has placed a higher premium on organisational agility over the last 12 months and the deployment of digital technologies and cloud to achieve this,” says Pulsant CTO Simon Michie. “However, by moving so quickly, many organisations can miss out on laying out a clear technology strategy and as a result, critical transformation barriers are emerging. These need to be addressed before organisations can reach their digital potential.”

The research from Pulsant was conducted by independent research provider, Censuswide, amongst 200 IT decision-makers and 200 business leaders in UK mid-sized companies (200 – 2,500 employees).

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