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It should come as no surprise that, given the interconnectedness of the global economy, digital transformation is not a phenomenon that's unique to American companies. What may raise some eyebrows is the speed in which it has taken hold across businesses worldwide.
Eighty-nine percent of the 1,614 mid-sized and large enterprises polled by Fujitsu for its Global Digital Transformation Survey said they were either planning, testing or implementing digital transformation projects. Businesses across 15 countries participated in the study, including the U.S., Canada, Sweden, China, Indonesia and Australia.
Many organizations reported business growth as a consequence of their digital transformation efforts. Of the 67 percent that said they were in the implementation stage, more than a third (34 percent) reported improved business outcomes like better customer relationships and an uptick in revenue (46 percent).
Despite their reliance on modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile devices, successful digital transformation projects depend primarily on having the right talent in place.
"Business leaders replied that talented staff with [the] right skills, strong leadership, and streamlined organizations and processes were the most significant factors for successful digital transformation. Those factors are related to talent and organization," stated the report. "Asked what was hindering their transformational process, they cited a lack of the above factors, also adding a fear of change and internal resistance to transformations."
Technology-wise, enterprises harbor high hopes for AI. Seventy-seven percent consider the technology an opportunity and a way to enhance people's capabilities in the future (82 percent). Lending validity to fears that AI-enabled computer systems or "robots" will eventually replace people in the workplace, a majority of those polled agree or strongly agree that AI will someday act as a substitute for an employee.
Leading the digital transformation revolution are finance and insurance firms (51 percent) and healthcare organizations (51 percent). Manufacturers are close behind (47 percent), as are transport and logistics companies (46 percent). Finally, the retail and wholesale sector (36) round out the top five.
Fujitsu's data indicates that manufacturers are furthest ahead in their digital transformation initiatives, with 36 percent having reported that their efforts had already delivered outcomes, followed by finance and insurance companies (29 percent), retail and wholesale (28 percent), transport and logistics (27 percent) and healthcare (24 percent).
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.