CenturyLink says only half of global enterprises have a digital transformation strategy

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451 Research found that only 51% of enterprises have a formal digital transformation strategy, while another 23% are working on siloed digital projects but without an overarching strategy.

As CenturyLink penetrates more large domestic and global businesses, the service provider found in a joint survey it conducted with 451 Research that only half of global enterprises have a formal digital transformation strategy.

As a result of this trend, the service provider said these companies are facing increasing disruption.

According to 451 Research’s findings, 51% of enterprises have a formal digital transformation strategy, while another 23% are working on siloed digital projects but without an overarching strategy.

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After polling business executives in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the study found that disruption will continue to ramp up over the next three years, with 42% of respondents expecting major disruption as the deployment of new digital technologies continues to play out in their respective fields. The research revealed that this will continue to change the competitive dynamics of their markets in the process.

"In a global economy that's dominated by disruption, innovation and cyber threats, speed to market is of the essence," said Bill Hurley, chief marketing officer for CenturyLink, in a release. "However, the complexities associated with digital transformation can result in numerous roadblocks.”

While the adoption of digital systems, tools and processes is disruptive to any industry verticals, the study said that executives at businesses worldwide commonly identify four key pillars of competitive differentiation to target with internal digital transformation initiatives:

  • Improve the level of business agility: 53%
  • Better manage business risk: 49%
  • Improve operational efficiency: 41%
  • Improve the internal or external customer experience: 41%

However compelling these transitions are, the majority of enterprises realize full digital transformation will take time to implement, as more than 40% of respondents estimate this will take three to five years.  

Unsurprisingly, a big part of this digital transformation will be a transition to cloud services. On a scale of 1 to 10, 80% of respondents ranked cloud's importance at 7 or above, and 20% gave it a 10. And enterprises with a mature digital transformation strategy ranked the importance of cloud services 15% higher than did companies in the early stages of transformation.