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Companies ‘face hurdles in digitisation race’

Significant barriers including lack of vision, inadequate implementation skills and siloed operations are stopping companies fully reaping the benefits of digital transformation, according to a new report by XL Catlin and the Harvard Business Review.

The need to replace legacy technology systems, budgetary constraints and shortage of staff with digital know-how are other issues cited by the 335 corporate executives interviewed.

About 74% of respondents want to improve customer experience by digitising operations, but only 47% have done this.

More than 70% hope to become more profitable, but only 42% have achieved this.

The gulf is similar for other objectives such as increasing revenue, reducing expenses and improving insights into customer needs and expectations.

“Sadly, many are nowhere close to realising these outcomes,” the report says.

“Our survey findings suggest companies still struggling to reap the benefits of digital transformation may need a broader approach to the undertaking, one that addresses not only the front end of the business, but also the back end.

“A broader approach to embracing digital technology across the enterprise will also require that corporations revisit the human component of digital transformation, from the commitment and leadership of the senior executive team to the availability of front-line employees who have the skills to take advantage of all that digital technology has to offer.”

Companies must review commonly overlooked areas such as research and development, supply chain, the manufacturing process, where applicable, and the distribution network.

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