Legacy technology holds back companies keen for digital transformation

Legacy IT systems and rigid infrastructure are majorly holding back digitisation and transformation projects, new research has found.

A study by Telstra found that while 73% of companies are exposed to digital disruption today and 61% are trying to disrupt new or current markets themselves, inflexible technology and network platforms are major barriers to digitisation strategies.

Specifically, business leaders called out that the length of time taken for IT projects and the reliance on IT intermediaries as contributing to their frustration.

Three quarters of survey respondents said their organisation is exposed to digital disruption, and nearly all of them (97%) said they already have a formal strategy in place to manage disruption, led by the CIO and actively supported by the CEO.

>See also: How to prepare your business for a digital transformation

The study found that the top three business transformation goals of organisations are improving customer experience through digital, streamlining operations, and moving commodity technology infrastructure to a managed environment so IT can concentrate on business growth and innovation.

More than half (56%) of all respondents said their organisation will be exposed to a more competitive market in two years.

Hong Kong and Australian firms considered themselves as the most exposed to disruption. Companies in the Philippines considered themselves the least exposed but expected it to have the greatest impact in the future.

Companies in India are the most wary of growth of future competition and disruption, with 75% saying they will be more exposed in the future, while just of 38% firms said they expect an increase over the same period.

Singapore, the Philippines and India were the leaders when it came to the prevalence of their digital transformation strategy.

>See also: 5 questions to ask during a digital transformation project

The research also looked at the effectiveness of technology use, the impact of network performance, and the new wave of ‘as a service’ consumption models in supporting an organisation’s ability to execute its disruptive strategy.

Dynamic networks came out on top as a key solution to help enable the execution of business transformation strategies, strengthen competitive position, support growth initiatives and create stronger customer engagement.

“The message to businesses is that disruption is happening, regardless of what industry you are in,” said Jim Clarke, director of international marketing, products and pricing at Telstra. “Smart investments can be made that will realise greater efficiencies in the long run. It’s up to them to decide if they will continue to be disrupted or use the tools available to be disruptive forces themselves.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...