CenturyLink survey: Midsize businesses boarding digital transformation bandwagon

According to a survey sponsored by CenturyLink, the majority of midsized businesses are starting their digital transformations or are in the process of mapping them out. (CenturyLink)

While large enterprises have been on the digital transformation bandwagon for some time, midsized businesses are starting to undergo their own transformation journeys, according to a survey sponsored by CenturyLink.

The survey, which was conducted for CenturyLink by Spiceworks, found that 53% of the IT decision makers at business ranging in size from 11 to 500 employers were either engaged in or mapping out their digital transformations.

A full 77% of the midsized businesses were “enthusiastic" about their digital transformation efforts, while another 75% described their attitudes as “excited.”

On the other end of the spectrum, 40% of the midsized companies felt “anxious" about the move to digital, while half of them said they felt "vulnerable" in doing so. The study cited concerns with security or cyberattacks as some of the reasons for their trepidation.

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According to the survey results, 60% of IT professionals said they worked with other departments, such as marketing, sales and finance, in their digital transformation initiatives to make sure that those groups have a say in how the business process changes are designed and implemented.

"Midsized businesses are increasingly adopting a digital business model, but still face challenges," said Vernon Irvin, president of CenturyLink's government, education, medium and small business unit, in a prepared statement. "With limited resources and budgets, midsized businesses are looking for networking solutions providers to deliver a reliable infrastructure capable of supporting the evolving technology landscape, as well as solutions that can help save time and money."

There are various definitions of just what a digital transformation is, but the study defined it as follows: "Using digital technologies to create innovative organizational, operational and business models, ultimately leading to more efficient processes and easier and more transparent interactions with employees, customers, and suppliers."

Some of the top drivers for digital transformation include improving efficiency and productivity at 60%, reducing costs and modernizing systems (39%), increasing accuracy and reducing human errors (37%), and increasing revenues and enhancing the customer experience (30%).

At 58%, limited budget was cited by the survey respondents as the top concern for digital transformations, followed by "limited time and staff" (57%), competing IT priorities (35%), resistance from end users and internal business decision makers (34%) and limited skill and expertise (31%).

In June 2018, Spiceworks surveyed IT decision-makers in the U.S. in an online research panel on behalf of CenturyLink. All 250 respondents were from organizations with 11 to 500 employees, and they were required to have influence on digital business practices for their organizations.