This week, we have a guest post from Wayne Speechly, VP of Advanced Competencies, NTT Ltd.

Digital transformation has been at the center of enterprise strategies for several years, but a recent global research report published by NTT Ltd highlights a range of challenges that still persist.

In particular, the 2019 Digital Means Business Report reveals a lack of alignment and how collaboration between C-level executives, IT teams and the wider business is holding many organizations back. 

Just 11% of organizations are highly satisfied with those spearheading digital transformation. A lack of executive sponsorship or ownership is the top barrier to success, organizations say. 

The report also finds that three-quarters of organizations are underway with digital transformation. Additional analysis from NTT Security’s Risk:Value Report, published in June 2019, shows that of digital projects, the most popular relate to innovation, the cloud, artificial intelligence, automation, big data, the internet of things and mobile working.

NTT Ltd.'s Digital Means Business Report highlights a lack of collaboration between teams as a barrier to successful digital transformation, with just 29% of organizations embracing digital transformation as a collaborative effort between the business and IT. Half of digital transformation projects are led by IT teams.

The report calls for a change in enterprise culture and leadership style and the development of new performance indicators to drive a proactive, tactical and incremental approach to digital transformation.

A lack of skills is a further issue that organizations need to address: just 49% of organizations say that their leadership team has the right skills to execute digital transformation. This is just five percentage points higher than the number of businesses reported by the Risk:Value Report as having adequate skills/resources to cope with the number of security threats. 

Both figures suggest that external support will be vital to help organizations move forward with a secure digital environment. 

Ultimately, digital transformation must embrace the whole business, though choosing the right leader can be complex, as some of the pitfalls identified in this Harvard Business Review article shows.

The increasing prevalence of Chief Digital Officer roles in enterprise organizations demonstrate how organizations want to improve their digital execution. But no-one should attempt to do so in isolation.

You can assess your organization’s digital maturity with the NTT Digitally Astute Index.