UK businesses need clear direction to keep pace with the digital economy

Half the UK’s IT leaders believe lack of consensus from the C-suite is holding back digital transformation.

Half of UK IT leaders are struggling to secure boardroom consensus for achieving digital transformation objectives, according to a new survey by Interroute. The UK result is significantly higher than the European average, which came in at 41 per cent and more than any of the eight other countries surveyed.

‘Without a clear route forward agreed by the C-Suite, many IT professionals will find it difficult to progress critical digital transformation projects, risking UK businesses being left behind,’ explains Mark Lewis, executive vice president of products and development at Interoute.

‘With Brexit on the horizon, the UK faces unprecedented change and uncertainty in the market and it’s fair to assume this is impacting decision making at the highest level. But it’s never been more important for UK businesses to haul their IT talent out of running just the day-to-day business systems, and into creating the business processes and customer experiences that will make their products and services outstanding.’

‘It is vital to get buy-in at the highest levels of any organisation to make the changes necessary that will allow businesses to progress and keep pace with the digital economy,’ Lewis continues. ‘IT professionals need the support of the whole business to be able to deliver the digital foundation business needs for future growth.’

When ranking challenges for achieving digital transformation objectives, the 820 European IT decision makers surveyed were on average most concerned about their ability to integrate legacy technologies with cloud enabled applications (55 per cent). This was closely followed by uncertainty around the changing political climate (52 per cent) and a lack of talent/skills available to drive projects (52 per cent).

The research shows there is a higher cost associated with digital transformation skills, with 61 per cent of UK businesses, 63 per cent of French businesses, and 66 per cent of businesses in Denmark expecting to pay at least 20 per cent more for these, compared with skills required for other IT projects.

‘IT skills are in short supply for businesses across Europe, which is why leadership is needed to avoid being left behind in this new digital world,’ Lewis concludes.

‘To make the most of the opportunities presented by digital transformation, IT professionals must work together with C-Suite executives to act quickly and decisively. With the support, direction and consensus of the C-Suite, digital transformation can be accelerated to the benefit of the entire organisation.’

The results of this survey are taken from the report, ‘The challenges facing European IT decision-makers engaged in digital business transformation,’ that explores the factors governing IT decision-making and how senior IT professionals are preparing for change. Download the full report here.

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