Dell Technologies released results from a global study that shows organisations are shifting their digital transformation programmes into high gear and are on the path to accomplish in a few months what would normally have taken them years. The findings, updated biennially in the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (DT Index), indicate organisations are accelerating transformational technology programmes during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 DT Index found that eight in 10 organisations (APJ: 84 per cent) have fast-tracked some digital transformation programmes this year and 79 per cent (APJ: 86 per cent) are re-inventing their business model in one of the first global studies to measure business behaviour as a result of the pandemic.
The DT Index is a global benchmark indicating organisations’ status of digital transformation and their performance across the globe. The survey included 4,300 business leaders (C-suite to Director) from mid-size to enterprise companies across 18 countries. In APJ, 1,700 business leaders from Australia, India, Japan, mainland China, New Zealand and Singapore were surveyed.
A new digital transformation curve
Since the first DT Index in 2016 and the next in 2018, this year’s results track the first rise in the number of Digital Leaders (the most digitally mature organisations) globally to six per cent, while APJ remained the same from 2018 at six per cent. Digital Adopters (the second most digitally mature group) grew from 23 per cent in 2018 to 39 per cent in 2020 both globally and in APJ – registering a 16-percentage point increase.
The DT Index also records a modest drop since 2018 in the number of Digital Laggards (the least digitally mature group) by six-percentage points both globally and in APJ, and a steep fall in the second to last group, Digital Followers, by 17-percentage points globally (APJ: 13-percentage points). These organisations are moving up, into the Digital Adopter and Digital Evaluator groups, which have expanded in tandem.
“We’ve been given a glimpse of the future, and the organisations that are accelerating their digital transformation now will be poised for success in the Data Era that is unfolding before our eyes,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell Technologies.
“The results of DT Index 2020 provide clear evidence of the digital priorities that are propelling organisations – both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region – forward in the data era, despite the challenging climate brought on by the pandemic,” said KT Ong, country manager, Malaysia, Dell Technologies. “Organisations in Malaysia must take heed and accelerate their own digital transformation programmes or risk being outpaced by the rest. By recognising transformation barriers and investing in the right opportunities, organisations can act immediately to drive new ideas, concepts and solutions that they need to either maintain or accelerate growth.”
Barriers to transformation
The pandemic may have catalysed digital transformation across the globe, but continuous transformation is challenging: 94 per cent of organisations (APJ: 96 per cent) are facing entrenched barriers to transformation. The following are the top-3 barriers to digital transformation success according to the 2020 DT Index:
Barriers to digital transformation success globally:
Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns (up from 5th place in 2016)
Lack of budget and resources (#1 in 2016, #2 in 2018)
Unable to extract insights from data and/or information overload (a jump of eight places since 2016)
Barriers to digital transformation success in APJ:
Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns (#1 in 2018)
Lack of budget and resources (#2 in 2018)
Unable to extract insights from data and/ or information overload (a jump of 12 places since 2016)
Responding in an uncertain world
Prior to the pandemic, business investments were strongly focused on foundational technologies, rather than emerging technologies. The vast majority, 89 per cent (APJ: 92 per cent) recognise that as a result of disruption this year, they need a more agile/ scalable IT infrastructure to allow for contingencies. The DT Index shows the top technology investments for the next one to three years:
Global top technology investments:
Cybersecurity (43 per cent)
Data management tools (39 per cent)
5G infrastructure (37 per cent)
Privacy software (35 per cent)
Multi-cloud environment (35 per cent)
APJ top technology investments:
Cybersecurity (42 per cent)
Data management tools (41 per cent)
Artificial intelligence algorithms (40 per cent)
5G infrastructure (36 per cent)
Multi-cloud environment (36 per cent)
And recognising the importance of emerging technologies, 82 per cent of respondents globally (APJ: 85 per cent) envision increased usage of Augmented Reality to learn how to do or fix things in an instant; 85 per cent (APJ: 88 per cent) foresee organisations using Artificial Intelligence and data models to predict potential disruptions, and 78 per cent (APJ: 84 per cent) predict distributed ledgers – such as Blockchain – will make the gig economy fairer (by cutting out the intermediary).
Despite these findings, only 16 per cent (APJ: 17 per cent) are planning to invest in Virtual/Augmented Reality, just 32 per cent (APJ: 40 per cent) intend to invest in Artificial Intelligence, and a mere 15 per cent (APJ: 16 per cent) plan to invest distributed ledgers in the next one to three years.