The biggest chunk of the digital transformation budget is spent on cloud migration, reveals the Masergy report

According to the Masergy report, digital transformation ranks very high as an absolute priority among companies – four out of five IT professionals consider it necessary for the survival of their business.

The 2019 Digital Transformation Market Trends report, released by Masergy and conducted by an independent research firm Webtorials, is based on responses of IT professionals from large and small companies across 35 countries including US, UK, China, and India. Its objective was to determine current attitudes around digital transformation.

The report found that along with improving customer experience, digital transformation remained one of the top two strategic priorities for the majority of IT professionals. According to the report, 22% of the industry players perceived the top benefit of digital transformation as enhanced customer experience. Topping the list for investment in digital transformation was migration to the cloud for IT functions, with adequate improvements in security. In fact, the highest fraction of investments for digital transformation was spent on cloud migration for IT, said 22% of the respondents.

Therefore, the top investments in digital transformation include cloud migration for IT (22%), improved security (18%), data analytics (17%), and software-defined networks (11%). The relatively low ranking of Software Defined Networking (SDN) does not mean that they are irrelevant, but a reflection of the fact that they are an underlying fundamental enabler of Digital Transformation. While Unified Communications is high on the list, it is noticed that Al, Big Data, loT and VR are also seen as quite important

Interestingly, while over 15% of professionals believe that digital transformation is essential for an enterprise to remain competitive in the industry, only 14% think that it resulted in increased productivity.

Change is a challenging exercise in itself, and not surprisingly, most of the digital transformation challenges are associated with implementation. This indicates that the maturity of IT infrastructures and technologies are not the problem.

According to the report, 22% of IT professionals believe that the biggest issue their organization faced was the budget. Interestingly, almost one-fifth of the respondents also felt that there was a lack of support from leadership. Experts believe it is not surprising that while the constricted budget is a considerable challenge, lack of “executive leaders support and understanding” is ranking high as a challenge as well. This is clearly proof that while the IT professionals “get it,” there still needs to be more awareness at the C-level.

Another major obstacle in digital transformation is the lack of in-house skills. As 18% of IT professionals feel this lack, it is seen that the majority of companies receive outside help to overcome this. The report found that 64% of professionals said they receive significant help from external partners to successfully launch and implement digital transformation initiatives.

“Executives recognize that digital transformation is largely dependent upon innovative technology services and outside partners that deliver on competitive IT agility,” said James Parker of Masergy in a press release.

While Digital Transformation delivers the expected long-term benefits of survival of the business, it is seen that short-term benefits that it drives are primarily focused on improving customer service.