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Most enterprises are somewhere on the path to digital transformation, but some are further along than others.
Ovum's ICT Enterprise Insights 2017 report reveals that 90 percent of enterprises have settled on a digital transformation strategy. Yet relatively few have made it past the early stages.
Among the over 7,000 senior ITC (information and communications technology) professionals surveyed by the market research firm, only 22 percent said they were in an advanced stage. Fewer, just 10 percent, said they had completed their digital transformation.
The study also indicates that financial firms are leading the pack.
Retail banks, financial markets and payment processors lead other industries along the digital transformation curve. Higher education also ranked high. Utilities and merchants, along with insurance, media and telecommunications companies fell into the "followers" category. Laggard industries include government, retail and healthcare.
Generally, businesses are investing in network security (71 percent), web content and digital asset management (69 percent) and big data solutions (66 percent), Ovum found. Enterprises are also pouring more of their IT dollars into robotic process automation (52 percent), customer journey mapping (51 percent) and chatbots and intelligent virtual agents (49 percent).
Those investments are set to rise in the New Year. A quarter of respondents said their organizations plan to significantly increase (budget growth of 6 percent or more) their technology spending in 2017, compared to just 9 percent last year.
Recently, a global survey of 573 C-suite executives from Forbes Insights and Hitachi Data Systems found that over the next two years, new, transformation-enabling technology is the top investment priority for 51 percent of those polled.
The same number (51 percent) said they were also prioritizing investments that bolster their data and analytics capabilities, and for good reason. Most companies that embrace business analytics (91 percent) reported revenue increases.
Overall, half of all the high-level executives that participated in the survey named digital transformation as their top strategic priority.
Although considered the top contributor to successful digital transformation initiatives (56 percent), technology is also viewed as one of the biggest challenges (29 percent). Another piece of the puzzle is people. In dealing with the challenges of modernizing their organizations, 57 of respondents said they were bringing new hires onboard and 54 percent said they were relying on internal training.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.