Toca (Credit image/Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)Digital transformation remains top of the agenda for many businesses. Research conducted by Toca, reveals the extent of the challenges faced by IT teams in delivering these projects. Toca is a low-code application development platform provider. The research looks at the top barriers to successful transformation. IT decision makers cited budget constraints, a lack of collaboration across the wider business, legacy systems, a shortage of developers and integration challenges as the top five. Consequently, 88% of IT decision-makers are facing costly project delays. The average digitalisation delay lasting five months at a cost of £20,200 a day, totalling £3,070,400.

The Research outcomes

The survey of 200 IT decision makers reveals:

  • 68% of organisations’ digital transformation projects are now expected to be delivered three times faster than five years ago.
  • However, 72% of IT leaders say the waiting lists for digital projects are getting longer.
  • As a result, 71% of IT leaders are struggling with the pressure of innovation.
  • Employee satisfaction, customer service and productivity are the top three areas being negatively affected by failure to match the speed of expected delivery for new applications or systems.
  • 72% of IT leaders believe the days of large-scale projects are over, favouring smaller projects delivering incremental business benefits faster.
Toca (credit image/LinkedIn/Mat Rule)
Mat Rule, Founder and CEO at Toca

According to Mat Rule, CEO of Toca, “Organisations are focusing attention on digital transformation projects to drive new business opportunities. Meeting the growing expectation for seamless customer journeys, which have been heightened by newer, digital-first competitors entering the market. This has placed IT teams under significant pressure. With issues like shorter timelines, tight budgets and legacy processes impacting the success of the projects. And with spiralling cost overruns and delays lasting months at a time, businesses are facing a growing issue as they try to deliver value with new applications and systems.”

The pressure to deliver

Despite organisations making progress with digital transformation, almost all (94%) IT leaders confirm that “building apps, connecting systems and automating processes faster is business imperative.” 89% of IT decision-makers state they would prefer to leverage legacy systems to speed up digital projects. Rather than rewrite and re-platform them.

Yet the pressure to deliver is forcing organisations into sacrificing best practices for quick delivery.

  • 80% of IT leaders agree that the need for speed with digital projects is increasing technical debt within their organisation.
  • This can impact other projects by creating a knock-on effect. 76% of IT decision-makers are in agreement that technical debt holds them back from taking on new projects.
  • This is hampering organisations’ ability to deploy digital technologies. Respondents report that on average, they are only able to address one in four problems with digital transformation. 79% of IT decision-makers confirm that processes aren’t automated because of time, cost, or complexity. Despite the data revealing that automating manual tasks could save the average employee over five hours a week.

Digital transformation projects are proving challenging for businesses, as they tackle delays and cost overruns,” continues  Rule. “In order to drive quick digital wins and to solve more business problems, organisations need to empower their development teams. To become more productive and to overcome the restraints of legacy technologies. Businesses are increasingly looking at solutions like low-code development. This can enable IT teams to deliver flexible digital services in a matter of days, drastically reducing the cost and time of traditional development. Using low-code, businesses can build digital wrappers around legacy systems and then integrate apps and portals to drive digital journeys.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

Digital transformation initiatives have been the top priority for many enterprises for more than a decade. For some organisations, replacing their ERP was defined as digital transformation. Other organisations have restructured their business model for a more intuitive relationship with customers. While such programmes are considered a necessity for the long-term survival of most businesses, they haven’t always been prioritised. Nor given the resources they deserve. That was not until the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to pivot their businesses to become digital-first.

Research from Toca finds that spiralling cost overruns, legacy systems and demands for speed are causing organisations significant challenges when delivering digital transformation. The research suggests that the previous big bang approach to digital transformation is becoming a thing of the past. Organisations are favouring smaller projects delivering incremental business benefits faster. This is perhaps a more sensible approach, particularly during these challenging times that businesses must operate within.


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