Table of contents
"Digital Transformation": An Elusive Term Global Digital Transformation Spend Agility and Adaptability A Key Enabler for Sustainability Significant Hurdles The Importance of Leadership and Key Business Indicators Key Takeaways



In brief

  • Digital transformation is a term used everywhere, but it's actual definition is expanding.
  • Discerning good technological investments in a saturated market is essential for sustained growth.
  • Effective leadership & monitoring key business indicators are key to overcoming common hurdles.



In today's era of business, the concept of digital transformation is everywhere.

However, the term itself is elusive: its definition is constantly expanding as technological advancements redefine its boundaries.

Innovations over the last 5 years, such as cloud migration and artificial intelligence (AI), are some of the many areas that have challenged what constitutes digital transformation.

AI, with its capacity for automation, data analysis, and predictive capabilities, offers immense potential for transforming business operations and enhancing customer experiences. No longer a buzzword, AI offers a competitive advantage in everything from day-to-day business operations to high-level strategy design -- when leveraged correctly.

Similarly, cloud computing has proven revolutionary in how organisations manage their IT infrastructure, offering scalable and flexible solutions tailored to their specific needs. Through cloud services, businesses can optimise resource allocation, enhance operational efficiency, and achieve cost savings. Additionally, the agility inherent in cloud computing empowers organisations to swiftly respond to changing market dynamics, ensuring they remain competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.

With new innovation comes escalating costs. Global spending on digital transformation is estimated to reach £3.9 trillion by 2027.1



Forecasted Spend on Digital Transformation Technologies


Agility and adaptability are paramount for businesses navigating digital disruption.

The ability to swiftly respond to market shifts has become crucial to maintaining a competitive edge.

These emerging technologies - including AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing - have proven enablers of innovation and growth. In the UK alone, approximately 1 in 6 businesses have adopted AI technologies.2

Investment is not just in AI, with enterprises aiming to allocate a substantial portion of their IT budgets to cloud services this year. Most enterprises aspire to have 80% of IT hosting costs go toward the cloud, including private cloud, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).3

An emerging incentive behind these investments is delivering on ambitious sustainability initiatives. Integrating sustainability into digital strategies aligns business goals with broader societal and environmental concerns, fostering responsible corporate citizenship. As companies are increasingly scrutinised for their environmental impact, digital transformation remains a method to deliver on corporate promises.



Digital transformation is a key enabler to meet ambitious sustainability initiatives.

79 %

of customers are changing behaviour based on sustainability preferences.⁴

23 %

potential reduction in emissions by using digital technologies.⁴

80 %

of CEOs view ESG as a source of competitive advantage.⁵



Despite the potential, digital transformation projects often encounter significant hurdles.

Projects have a notoriously high failure rate, discouraging some organisations from taking the leap.

Legacy systems, cultural resistance, and cybersecurity concerns frequently impede progress:

  1. Legacy systems, often deeply ingrained within organisations, pose significant challenges to digital transformation efforts. These outdated systems can hinder the adoption of new technologies, impeding progress and stifling innovation.
  2. Cultural resistance further exacerbates the issue, as employees may be resistant to change, clinging to familiar processes and workflows. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that involves not only upgrading technology but also fostering a culture that embraces change. This may involve training programs, communication strategies, and incentives to encourage buy-in from employees at all levels.
  3. As organisations digitise more aspects of their operations, they become increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. For this reason, protecting sensitive data and maintaining the integrity of systems and networks are paramount concerns. Practices like implementing encryption protocols, conducting regular security audits, and investing in cybersecurity training for employees, are essential to safeguarding against potential breaches.

These obstacles demand a holistic strategy that encompasses technological upgrades, cultural shifts, and robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the successful progression of digital transformation efforts.



Organisations that adeptly navigate this terrain stand to gain a competitive edge.

By embracing agility, harnessing emerging technologies, and surmounting common barriers, businesses can position themselves for sustained growth and success.

Effective leadership emerges as a pivotal factor in guiding organisations through successful digital transformations. Visionary leaders set the tone for innovation, inspiring teams to think creatively and embrace new ideas. By fostering a culture of experimentation and learning, leaders empower employees to adapt to change and drive progress. This leadership not only facilitates the adoption of new technologies but also cultivates an environment where employees feel motivated to contribute their best efforts toward transformational goals.

Furthermore, monitoring key business indicators such as agility, customer satisfaction, and innovation metrics provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of digital transformation initiatives. This data informs strategic decision-making, enabling organisations to iterate and refine their approaches for sustained success in the digital age.

By leveraging analytics and performance metrics, businesses can identify areas of improvement, allocate resources effectively, and ensure alignment with overarching strategic objectives. This iterative approach allows organisations to remain responsive to evolving market dynamics and customer preferences, fostering long-term resilience and competitiveness in an increasingly digitalised landscape.



Key Takeaways

  • New innovations, like IoT, AI, cloud computing, and more, pose a challenge for leaders to discern meaningful investments in technology amidst a saturated market.
  • Agility is essential for businesses facing digital disruption while also addressing sustainability concerns.
  • Effective leadership, together with monitoring key business indicators, can help organisations overcome the hurdles associated with digital transformation.



Case Study

One way to define digital transformation? A full-scope digital services overhaul, complete with digitising paper-based processes, a new mobile app, clear and concise data presentation, regulatory support, and more to deliver leading-edge customer services in the construction industry.

Discover how we achieved this for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme in the UK.  




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