By Chris Toushan, Senior VP, Canada Country Manager

Digital technologies accelerate and transform everything we do. Yet, change—especially when it comes to IT—can sometimes be likened to a bear with a sore head: Unruly. Unpredictable. And difficult to tame.

Despite this, the IT organization is often the strongest proponent behind digital transformation, even though it can be as disruptive as a grizzly in the data center. In fact, according to our research of Canadian companies1:

  • 57 percent of IT decision makers identify digital transformation as a key priority
  • 79 percent of IT decision makers feel the IT department is the strongest driver for digital transformation

IT TransformationWhile employees expect digital technologies to make their jobs easier, more productive and enjoyable, they are clearly willing to let IT wander the wilderness alone:

  • Only 5 percent of employee respondents believe general employees should be driving digital transformation

Senior management seems equally willing to let IT managers take the lead, despite anticipating revenue growth, increased sales and improved and faster customer service. But our research indicates this may be because the IT organization hasn’t called for help loud enough:

  • 35 percent of IT decision makers say they lack the skills needed to communicate the benefits of digital transformation to senior leadership

What’s the problem with having the IT department running towards a goal alone while others in the organization slowly lumber about the woods? As with any large transformative movement, disjointed efforts drive costs up and efficiency down—the opposite of what digital success ought to look like.

Ensuring the organization as a whole benefits from what the digital transformation has to offer takes aligning all departments with one singular vision, backed by best practice guidelines for executing that vision.

Learn more about getting everyone in your organization working together to stare the bear of digital change in the eye at www.tamethebear.com.

About the Research

Research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, on behalf of Sungard Availability Services, to investigate attitudes towards digital transformation in five countries across the world, focusing on expected benefits, challenges and business demands. Interviews were conducted in May 2016 and September 2016 across two groups of respondents: IT decision-makers (ITDMs) and employees from the wider business. The research questioned respondents from businesses of over 500 employees in the US, UK and France, and respondents from businesses with a minimum of 250 employees in Ireland, Sweden and Canada. These businesses operated in a variety of sectors, including financial services, professional services and retail.

Overall, 817 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with ITDMs, including 205 from the US, 153 from the UK, 156 from France, 101 from Ireland, 100 from Sweden and 102 from Canada. At the same time, 1600 interviews were conducted online and over the telephone with general employees, including 400 from the US, 300 from the UK, 300 from France, 200 from Ireland, 200 from Sweden and 200 from Canada.