Digital transformation efforts have been thwarted by a lack of talent and organizational structure, according to a new study by executive search and advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

The firm surveyed more than 1,500 senior executives at companies with a digital strategy to understand how these strategies are transforming talent and leadership needs across organizations.

Corporate leadership, by and large, recognizes the need for digital transformation and is supportive of it, the report showed. A large majority (91 percent) of the respondents said their CEO makes a visible effort to support the company's digital vision and initiatives.

In addition, 60 percent said they have the appropriate leadership setting the digital vision. But the bad news is that only 47 percent of respondents think the right team is in place to effectively execute the strategy. The survey found that digital transformation often is impeded by talent and structural issues, not an absence of executive support or strategic leadership.

"Leadership support, while crucial, is not enough on its own to drive digital transformation across an organization," said Tuck Rickards, co-leader of the global Digital Transformation Practice and member of the CEO/Board Services Practice at Russell Reynolds. "What we've seen through the [survey] over the years is an increasing need to focus on recruiting the right digital talent and deploying these experts across an organization's structure. Only then do you see substantive change."

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.