Conflict between departments over ‘owning digital’ is holding companies back, research reveals Conflict over ‘digital ownership holds companies back

‘The division of responsibility and core accountability is a major inhibitor to putting in place truly innovative processes’

 Conflict over ‘digital ownership holds companies back

Nearly half of companies believe competing departments wanting digital ownership is holding back their digital transformation, according to research.

In a study of 410 ‘digitally mature’ businesses, 94% said they plan to address the threat of digital disruption by transforming systems and processes, but 43% see conflict over ownership as a barrier.

To ensure collaboration in digital across the business, survey respondents said CEOs should be the catalyst for digital transformation initiatives.

Four in ten identified their CEO as setting the overall digital vision and strategy and 59% said their digital strategy is understood and supported by the CEO.

More than half (54%) of the senior execs said fostering a culture of innovation is a critical enabler of digital business.

Collaboration extends outside of the business too, with 89% of businesses planning to improve partnerships with external companies in order to innovate.

Six in ten said they plan to create a corporate accelerator to invest in digital startups, and 53% will conduct hackathons to promote innovation.

Customer experience is the ‘North Star’ for the journey, according to the report, which was conducted by analyst firm Forrester on behalf of SugarCRM and Squiz.

>See also: Digital transformation in 2016: how far have we come, and how far have we left to go?

Forrester said more than three-quarters (77%) of the companies deemed ‘digitally mature’ in the study have clearly defined the experience they intend to create for their customers, demonstrating the benefits of having a strong customer focus. And 69% have introduced an innovation taskforce to identify new sources of value for customers.

Through digital transformation, these businesses are also looking to increase the speed of innovation, and improve time to market. In contrast, the drivers for less-mature businesses focus mainly on profitability improvements and cost reduction, Forrester said.

“The division of responsibility and core accountability is a major inhibitor to putting in place truly innovative processes, but collaboration is a part of almost every successful innovation,” said Stephen Morgan, co-founder at Squiz. “To achieve real change within a business, active participation from key stakeholders across the business must exist.”

SugarCRM’s CEO Larry Augustin added: “Customers’ expectations of service and experience are increasing across the board, and every business is under pressure to improve their game.”

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