Sopra Steria research findings: Digital is the key to delivering transformative IT projects on time

London, 27 July 2016: 83% of enterprises are pleased with the pace at which their Digital Transformation projects have been delivered, bucking the decades-long complaint from businesses that IT projects always run behind schedule. This is one of the key findings being published in a Sopra Steria research report, Digital Transformation: Lessons learned from early initiatives, published in tandem with Kable, an industry-leading market research provider.

The research gathered input from 120 FTSE 500 organisations to find out how they are moving forward with their Digital Transformation projects. The senior executives who were questioned represent enterprises from across the private sector - including banking, insurance, asset management, retail, telecommunications, transport and logistics, utilities and media.

Digital Transformation is a whole scale change to the foundational aspects of a business – from the business operating models to infrastructure – through the application of digital technology.

“The survey reveals significant differences in enterprises’ maturity when it comes to the use of digital to drive business transformation,” commented Richard Potter, Innovation and Digital Transformation Leader, Sopra Steria. “There is still work to do in terms of educating organisations on the benefits of Digital to achieve business transformation, however it is encouraging that there is a real appetite for further investment and more ambitious Transformation programmes.”

Organisations today are using Digital Transformation techniques to update systems and processes, primarily as a means to achieve cost reductions, and to increase customer engagement via an improved customer experience. However, the feedback suggests that many enterprises are still unsure how to make the most of digital techniques, while others lack an in-house team with the skills to deploy these projects.

This is supported by the results, including:

  • 64% of enterprises are deploying technologies to streamline processes
  • 60% of enterprises focus their digital investment on the customer and 54% hope to achieve a customer experience transformation
  • 47% hope to achieve this transformation by increasing customer engagement
  • However, 52% of enterprises are currently only executing one Digital Transformation project
  • 84% of those that responded feel they could be better at exploiting digital technologies
  • And 54% of enterprises required an external partner to help them deploy their project, due to a lack of skills in-house

Commenting on the results, Will Rhodes, Consulting Director, Kable said: “Interestingly, enterprises are very evenly spread across the defined stages of digital maturity. Another notable finding, is that contrary to commonly held opinion, organisations’ own internal IT departments are identified as playing a significant role in the delivery of digital programmes – 82% cited IT as core to their business transformation success. Enterprises that brought in a third party with experience of delivering digital transformation programmes reported stronger governance and greater success. This is partly due to a lack of available digital skills in the market but also reflects the importance of quickly accessing key skills and well developed governance frameworks, which all contribute to demonstrable a return on investment.”

Richard Potter continues, “Perhaps what is most significant, however, is that whilst 52% of enterprises have only one digital project underway, they are moving at a much faster concept to ‘at scale roll-out’ than before. They are experimenting with a wide range of digital technologies and devices in order to achieve their business ambitions, as the agile nature of digital projects enable them to learn, remodel, and deploy, swiftly. This brings an interesting competitive dynamic for enterprises who are still trying to decide how they apply digital intelligently in their organisations. They need to determine if they wish to be an early adopter or a fast follower.”

Sopra Steria has produced a white paper from this report to provide guidance for organisations that are yet to start their transformation journey. You can access the white paper here.