Most SMBs now seeking promised benefits of digital transformation

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Digital transformation is not just for large enterprises. Many middle market companies are well into these efforts and are realizing benefits as well as facing challenges, according to new research from professional services firm BDO USA.

The firm commissioned Rabin Research to survey 300 C-level executives at companies with annual revenues between $250 million and $3 billion, and found that 94 percent have either developed a digital transformation strategy or are in the midst of developing one.

Digital transformation is already paying significant dividends, the report said, with nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of mid-market companies experiencing an increase in revenue from their digital initiatives over the past 12 months, and 74 percent reporting an increase in profitability.

A majority of the companies (79 percent) plan to increase their digital spending over the next year.

Among the drivers of transformation is improving customer experience, with 69 percent of mid-market executives saying this is one of their top three long-term business goal. Another driver is boosting operational efficiency, including replacing or upgrading legacy IT systems.

Among the risks and challenges are cyber and data privacy concerns, with one third of executives citing cyberattacks and privacy breaches as their number one digital threat. Another is measuring digital success.

Approximately one quarter (27 percent) said establishing the right metrics is the number one barrier to moving forward with a new digital initiative. And more than one half (54 percent) are concerned about a lack of skills or insufficient training as a barrier to implementation.

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