Digital transformation is simply no longer enough; businesses must achieve a state of continual evolution to changes in technology, customer behaviour, and the competitive environment to succeed although many are still facing huge hurdles in just getting the basics right.
That is the key conclusion of new C-suite research carried out by Netcel, Optimizely and Siteimprove, which finds that more than two-thirds (68%) of senior business leaders are no longer thinking in terms of digital transformation is a one off, suggesting digital evolution is likely to replace digital transformation.
The study, carried out by independent agency London Research, questioned more than 300 C-suite executives about their attitudes towards digital transformation and how it relates to their business.
The report reveals that, in a rapidly changing world, many organisations still do not have a shared view on what their digital experience should be achieving for business and customers and are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
It exposes the fact that skills are in short supply, insights are unclear, decision-making is arbitrary, and experimentation is not widespread, understood or encouraged in a systematic way.
The study also shows that a significant number of respondents have abandoned the idea of ‘digital’ as something separate from the rest of the business, with two-thirds (64%) saying everything they do is digital.
Meanwhile, digital-first businesses are less likely to see digital transformation as a fundamental organisational change (42%) compared with offline businesses (50%).
Combined with their enthusiasm for Web 3.0, more than half of these digital-first businesses see digital transformation less as a journey with a defined end point, and more as a state of readiness for whatever technology might throw at them next.
There are also increasing opportunities for marketing and martech to improve the digital experience.
The survey found that marketing’s potential to transform the digital experience is not being used to its full potential, with almost half of respondents saying they are unable to focus on continual improvement.
Two-thirds (66%) of respondents say their marketing technology enables them to tailor and personalise digital experiences to individuals or segments, yet 44% feel that their martech would benefit from greater development and 34% don’t have a martech stack that is seamlessly integrated in a way that breaks down organisational silos.
The research also showed that respondents felt technology is not widely thought to be prepared for the challenges ahead: systems struggle with shared data, analytics and a single customer view.
Integration is also an issue, and evolution and rollout of enterprise architecture may be a challenge. On top of that, martech is often owned by the IT department, which may lack cooperation with marketing, front-line services, and data and insights teams.
Siteimprove CMO Kevin Bobowski commented: “The report confirms that digital transformation is an antiquated mindset for marketers. Marketing is not a destination but a journey. Successful marketing organisations must be built for the journey of constant improvement and adaptability otherwise they will fall behind.”
Optimizely CEO Alex Atzberger added: “Our findings draw a clear conclusion for many who continue to think their digital transformation is complete: in fact, businesses are often only talking about systems and processes rather than the broader organisational and cultural integration that reflects true and durable digital maturity. In other words, many businesses are ‘digitised’ rather than truly ‘digital’.”
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