BT revealed the findings of new global research based on a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) with 400 CEOs in 13 countries across 5 continents, which reveals the critical importance of digital transformation in multinational organisations. The research shows that nearly 40% of CEOs currently have digital transformation at the very top of their boardroom agenda, with almost a quarter of them personally leading their company’s transformation programmes. There is a high level of confidence amongst three quarters of CEOs surveyed that their specific programmes will help them achieve their strategic objectives, which include making operational efficiencies, improving customer service and innovating for the future, with security as a key differentiator.
Despite this, 86% of CEOs encounter challenges in delivering the ideal infrastructure on which their digital programmes rely. They identify inflexible technology, lack of technology skills and security concerns as the main obstacles in building better digital infrastructure. CEOs highlight better integration, reliability, security and cost effectiveness as being the most critical factors needed to deliver the infrastructure which will build the digital business of the future.
When it comes to achieving their digital ambitions, more than a quarter of CEOs regard security as a key differentiator. This view is especially prevalent in consumer-facing sectors, rising to almost 50% for CEOs who operate in the financial services industry. Despite this, 22% of CEOs view cybersecurity measures as a ‘necessary evil’. The findings suggest that, while CEOs feel perceived security risks should not hold back their digital transformation progress, they nevertheless continue to view security as one of the chief barriers and concerns when considering a digital strategy.
Bas Burger, CEO, Global Services, BT, said: “Our most recent research confirms that digital transformation has become a prevalent topic on the boardroom agenda. It also shows that CEOs all around the world identify the skills shortages, lack of insight into what customers and employees really want or need, and security as the main obstacles to delivering an optimal digital experience. It’s interesting that these are primarily human factors and it illustrates that digital transformation strategies should always be built around people.”