Findings sort digital visionaries from explorers and watchers

Jeff Kavanaugh, Executive Editor at Infosys Knowledge Institute

Consulting firm Infosys has published global research that categorises where financial services firms and other enterprises are with their digital transformation strategies.
The Infosys Digital Radar 2019 found that businesses can be grouped into three clusters based on their progress along the digital transformation journey, with visionaries the most advanced, followed by explorers and then watchers.
It defined visionaries as enterprises that understand the potential of digital to completely transform their business. Explorers are those that commit to digital programs driven by the need to enhance customer experience. Watchers see digital transformation mainly through the prism of efficiency.
The research revealed that as companies advance in their journey, they begin to operate more digital initiatives at scale, with visionaries averaging 12 at scale, and having completed pilots on seven additional initiatives. Explorers average six digital initiatives at scale and have completed pilot projects for seven more. While watchers typically operate at scale on only one or two digital initiatives, with another one or two initiatives in the pilot testing phase.
Respondents’ projects were also categorized under four ‘buckets’: foundation initiatives – implemented to modernize legacy systems; mainstay initiatives – focused on core digital transformation elements such as automation and AI; customer initiatives – focused on improving the customer experience; and forefront initiatives – focused on harnessing cutting edge technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, drones and blockchain.
When asked about what the biggest barriers to digital transformation will be in 2019, the percentage of respondents citing the ‘inability to experiment quickly’ was 22 percent and ‘insufficient budget’ was 30 percent. However, ‘legacy systems’ was at 41 percent – making it the single biggest barrier predicted for 2019. Lack of change management capabilities and relevant skills are also seen as key hurdles in 2019. As companies navigate their digital journey, the need to digitize their core and manage change at scale will grow in importance.
“Understanding the distinct practices of visionary businesses is valuable for companies seeking to navigate the next step of their digital transformation journey,” said Jeff Kavanaugh, Executive Editor at Infosys Knowledge Institute. “The Infosys Digital Radar 2019 is equally relevant for business leaders, such as those attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, who are looking to accelerate the global economy and evolve their mindset from efficiency to experience so everyone can contribute – and benefit from – the abundant opportunities that await discovery in 2019 and beyond.”

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