Study Says Over Half of Businesses Do Not Understand the Digital Economy

May 21, 2015

A new study has found over half (57%) of business leaders do not understand the Digital Economy, highlighting that organizations are not yet fully prepared to deliver the digital experiences and access buyers desire and require. The study by OnePoll, commissioned by Ness Software Engineering Services (SES), a provider of software product engineering services, asked 1,000 business leaders in the UK, from a mix of industries, how they feel about the Digital Economy and their company's role in it.

Companies are aware that the status quo is hazardous and there is an innovation gap to bridge. A healthy 42% said a lack of innovation at their companies would harm the company's future prospects, and 42% expect to increase spending on Research & Development (R&D). In terms of leadership, there is a majority view (57%) that business executives in companies should lead digital transformations, rather than IT.

The study identifies that lack of in-house skills and suitable technology infrastructure are the biggest factors holding enterprises back from competing in the Digital Economy. Nearly half (46%) said they do not have the skills or expertise to drive digital transformation projects in terms of developing, deploying, managing and supporting the technology. They are short on expertise in areas including e-commerce (cited by 40%), e-business (44%), and supporting digital infrastructures such as cloud and mobile (48%). The ability to execute change is a key obstacle, with 42% saying they do not have the infrastructure to develop and roll out digital products fast enough.

To close the gap between the digital needs of the business and internal capabilities, many companies are engaging external technology partners--42% of those surveyed outsource technical engineering services. Their top priority for engaging with a partner is the partner's ability to deliver both on time and on-budget (cited by 39% of respondents).