Digital Transformation in 2022 Survey: The Successes and Pitfalls of Going Digital
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has been the name of the game for businesses.
We surveyed businesses about their digital transformation goals and pain points in 2022.
Here’s what they have to say:
What aspects of your business was the focus of digital transformation?
While every aspect of the business process can be digitized nowadays, the most commonly cited priorities for business digital transformation in 2022 have been cloud computing and data analytics.
Cloud computing can provide a company with scalability, as well as disaster recovery in times of need. Data analytics is used to glean customer insights, understand what’s driving trends, and optimize marketing strategies.
With the new age of digital, these processes don’t operate under different business silos as they did in the past. Rather, they are interconnected and mutually reinforcing, granting C-suite decision-makers the speed and ability to make more data-driven business decisions.
What are the biggest challenges of digital transformation?
While the impact of digital transformation has risen dramatically, there are still a lot of factors to consider before businesses integrate it into their day-to-day operations.
Even before the pandemic, there have been great strides to introduce digital transformation—shifting how business is done. But the shift has since accelerated in weight and importance in businesses across the globe.
This lack of eligible staff, coupled with movements like The Great Resignation, make it increasingly more difficult for companies to maintain business processes, let alone scale them digitally without significant financial backing.
In our 2022 survey, the ten biggest challenges of digital transformation include the following:
- Workforce maintain siloed mindsets and behaviors (35%)
- Unexpected costs for digital transformation (31%)
- Cybersecurity concerns (28%)
- Undecided when choosing tech priorities (27%)
- Economic uncertainty derailing budgets (22%)
- Inability to align traditional and digital setups (23%)
- Management changes (20%)
- Overly rigid business practice complications (19%)
- Lack of dedicated funding (17%)
- Lack of senior-level support (15%)
Beyond the above challenges, one continuous dilemma that companies have to face is making data readable, accessible, and useful for humans. Technology, at the end of the day, is a vehicle to create a more pleasant experience for people.
The goal, therefore, isn’t for a business to seek complete digitization. It’s to find the happy medium to sustainably cater to the people inside and outside the organization—with technology’s aid.
Did you focus more on transformation or optimization?
When it comes to business priorities, there’s a big difference between transformation and optimization.
Transformation is characterized by a change in a business model or core process, whereas optimization is making incremental improvements to existing processes.
In 2022, more executives sought out digital transformation as a way to drive business growth.
Findings from our survey reported a continuing downtrend of businesses opting for an optimization approach, from 46% in 2020 to 42% in 2021.
This proves that businesses are shifting their focus on restructuring their business paradigm in favor of making room for new technologies.
What exactly compelled these businesses to opt for digital transformation, risking re-training employees and added expenses?
Here are the most common reasons.
What were the other reasons for your digital transformation?
Having a clear objective in mind is critical when implementing new technologies.
One approach to consider is starting with your goal, and then moving backward to see what processes or tools you’ll need to get there.
Interestingly, business systems integration and security remained the top reasons companies underwent digital transformation from 2020 to 2022.
Was the pandemic a deciding factor for digital transformation?
Yes. In addition to the reasons above, the pandemic’s influence has also catalyzed the need for digital transformation.
About 38% said they shifted due to market pressure, while 37% felt at risk of lagging behind their competition.
Top digital transformation goals in 2022
As 2022 continues, one thing’s for certain: face-to-face contact is becoming less synonymous with productivity.
Nonetheless, the bottom line must be upheld, and customer engagement and experience remain as vital as ever. That’s why businesses should continue planning to build on their digital transformation results from last year.
With digital transformation in full swing, new areas for operational improvements have been identified.
The good news is that as technology advances, so do the methods and tools for achieving these goals.
However, with increased dependency on technology—whether it’s blockchain, AI, or cloud computing—there comes a heightened risk of greater vulnerability to data breaches and system downtimes.
For example, in March 2021, a Chinese hacking group known as Hafnium breached 30,000 organizations across the United States by inserting a backdoor in Microsoft Exchange.
The purpose of the hack was to steal information from these companies, which included government agencies and large businesses.
Regardless, the march towards digital transformation must go on if companies want to remain relevant and future-ready.
Like any other business initiative, continuously adapting to changes is key to successful digital transformation. And despite the many challenges, those who manage to muscle through them will be in a much better position this 2022.