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CloudTalent, an Avanade company specialising in IT strategic advisory services, has announced new research showing that digital transformation projects are at risk as IT teams struggle to meet expectations.

Nine out of ten IT leaders feel digital transformation has brought unprecedented change, in addition to new levels of pressure never experienced before in the industry, according to new research from CloudTalent. As nearly 90% of UK businesses are engaging in digital transformation projects, a universal feeling of overwhelming pressure is growing amongst IT teams tasked with bringing these projects to life. Many revealed that this new challenge is greater than any previous IT task they have undertaken.

“Our findings show just how much stress IT leaders and their teams are under to deliver practical change. Many are painfully aware that they are not as effective as they could be at delivering the necessary transformation, due in part to the gaps in execution capabilities that exist in their business,” stated Adrian Overall, CEO at CloudTalent. “Teams have had to move from running to sprinting just to keep up with projects, let alone grow and innovate, which has led to more and more organisations re-thinking how they resource their IT – on-shoring and in-sourcing their IT projects, as well as hiring contractors or bringing in external organisations to address skills shortages associated with digital transformation and Cloud migration.”

Digital transformation is the process of accelerated change of business activities, processes, competencies and models. As today’s businesses strive to remain relevant and competitive, becoming more digital has become a critical driving force. In CloudTalent’s research, conducted by Loudhouse, 100 senior level IT leaders from a range of organisations across the UK were interviewed about the challenges they face in adapting their businesses for the digital age.

The survey found:

  • Only 40% of respondents believed their company is making good progress with digital transformation.
  • Only a third (34%) say that they are near the end of the process.
  • However, two thirds of respondents admitted the need to employ specialist IT consultants as a critical, yet practical solution to deliver change.
  • An overwhelming 94% of those surveyed already use consultants to help them.
  • Half of the respondents are planning to increase their dependence on external specialists as they look to diffuse the mounting pressure and deliver projects on time and within budget.

The research also reveals that more IT leaders (24%) believe the CEO, rather than the CIO (19%), is ultimately responsible for successfully building a digital business, and deem senior management engagement as the biggest contributing factor to successful transformation. What’s more, the people-factor is seen as more important than either the role of processes or platforms for creating a ‘digital business’.

Overall added: “Hybrid cloud adoption and tech commoditisation has shifted the focus of internal IT discussions from technology to a more business-focused debate around the economic arguments on digital transformation. This is to ensure their business is investing wisely for the future.”

“With increased expectations from senior management, many IT departments are facing new pressures to succeed on the front line. Organisations need to find a multi-geared approach, which features the right combination of people, process and technology that helps address and solve their business problems, providing the right long term IT solution for their organisation,” Overall concludes.