'Digital ceilings' holding many firms back from reaching transformation goals

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Organizations worldwide are facing a “digital ceiling” when it comes to digital transformation, according to a new study by Infosys Knowledge Institute, the research arm of IT services and consulting firm Infosys. The report shows that enterprises need to change their mindsets to achieve sophisticated levels of digital maturity.

For its research, Infosys conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 senior executive around the world in November 2019, and based on the responses related to digital transformation ranked the most digitally advanced as “visionaries”, followed by “explorers” and “watchers.”

The survey showed progress compared with the year before in areas such as digital initiatives to improve efficiency. But most of the organizations come up against a digital ceiling when trying to achieve the most advanced levels of maturity, the report said.

Companies know how to achieve moderate transformation success, the report said, with an 18 percent increase in the number progressing this year from the lowest tier of watchers to the middle explorer tier. Explorers struggled to move into the top visionary category, however, with the top tier remaining the same. That’s what indicates the existence of the digital ceiling in transformation efforts.

Survey respondents reported dramatic declines in the impact that technological barriers have on their transformation progress, including the inability to experiment quickly (down 49 percent), insufficient budget (down 40 percent), and cyber security challenges (down 40 percent).

But organizations have made much less progress against cultural barriers including lack of change management capabilities (down 7 percent), and lack of talent (down 6 percent).

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