Half of businesses say security is key challenge for digital transformation

Half of organisations consider security the number one challenge impeding digital transformation, research reveals.

SoftServe reveals findings from its 2017 Digital Transformation Report that indicates 55 per cent of organisations consider security to be the number one challenge they face when implementing digital enablement technologies.

The research, conducted for SoftServe by Vanson Bourne in November 2016, polled a cross-industry panel of decision-makers in the US and UK on the risks, challenges, and opportunities surrounding digital transformation for modern businesses.

The data shows that digital transformation is widespread with 27 per cent of organisations indicate that they have implemented a transformative strategy across their entire business and 45 per cent claim to have implemented digital transformation across parts of the business, with a further 25 per cent suggest that they planned to adopt strategies in the future.

In fact, just two per cent of organisations had no plans to adopt digital transformation.

Digital transformation promises to impact every part of an organisation with some areas standing to gain more than others.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given its consumer facing operations, the retail, distribution and transport sectors consider customer experience and engagement as the area that stands to gain the most from digital transformation, as 73 per cent of organisations cite this as the number one beneficiary.

Across the board though for financial services, IT and manufacturing, the areas of mobile technologies, digital asset management, cloud computing services, data mining/analytics and e-commerce all stood out as areas that would benefit from digital transformation.

Internal advice is valued

Interestingly, just six per cent of respondents feel that product vendors are the best people to speak to when seeking advice on implementing digital transformation. Most organisations are inward looking, 76 per cent of respondents state that they would seek advice from internal IT or business experts.

Respondents are also split on whether digital transformation was a business or IT issue with 25 per cent naming the CIO as the person with ultimate responsibility compared with 23 per cent naming the CEO.

‘In the business world, new market entrants are digital natives. They enjoy the flexibility and agility that comes with being a start-up and as a result of embracing digital technologies like Cloud services, they’re realising the cost benefits that were once the preserve of businesses of scale. In many respects, ‘traditional’ businesses are playing catch up in a race they could lose as a result of an inability or reticence to adopt transformative technologies,’ says Robert Corace, executive vice president, digital disruption at SoftServe.

‘If businesses want to keep pace with or get ahead of faster moving rivals and disruptive new market entrants, they’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that digital transformation is the new normal. There are challenges to overcome, but with expert help they are not insurmountable and the rewards of digital transformation far outweigh the costs.’

‘It doesn’t surprise me that organisations were split on who has ultimate responsibility for delivering digital transformation since it is a business issue that is enabled by technology. Whichever way you look at it though digital transformation is a boardroom issue,’ says Nazar Tymoshyk, certified ethical hacker and security solutions architect at SoftServe.

‘As with all new ways of working some clear challenges lie ahead, not least ensuring that security is watertight. With so much data being created, moved and stored in the modern business, and with so much reliance being placed on that data, security needs to be baked in at the very outset of any digital transformative initiative.’

Related: How digital transformation changes security needs

Strict IT budgets

Following security, 50 per cent of organisations said budgetary constraints were impeding digital transformation initiatives, which is hardly surprising given IT budgets are expected by some to remain flat in 2017 and IT plays a huge part in implementing this.

A lack of strategy across the organisation, a lack of required skills and competing interests were cited as impediments by 31 per cent, 27 per cent, and 26 per cent respectively. Encouragingly, just 11 per cent cited a lack of clear business case – which suggests that a vast majority of organisations appreciate the benefits that it will deliver.

Further reading on digital transformation

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics

Digital Transformation