Digital business is much more than a trend. It's nothing short of a revolution disrupting industries and reshaping how companies operate and engage with every facet of their ecosystems, from employees and partners to customers. Digital transformations have become a top priority as more functions shift to the web, cloud, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT). Even companies that are not initiating formal, wide-scale digital transformation strategies are engaged with digitizing at least one aspect of their business model.
While the rapidly evolving connected world affects everyone, each company has a unique digital transformation perspective including their definition of it, how they are approaching it and how far along they are in the journey. This makes it hard to find the pulse of how digital transformations are progressing as a whole.
Recently, Ping Identity conducted a survey to find out the state of digital transformation in 2016. We asked IT leaders questions like where their companies are on the path to completion, what projects are a priority and the role that identity and access management plays in their digital strategies.
We uncovered some unexpected results that indicate considerable gaps between where businesses want to be and the reality of how far along they are in the transformation process. Here are five surprising stats that stood out from the rest of the data:
Only one-third of organizations have fully completed digital deployments, and most of these deployments are internally focused, not customer-facing While digital transformation is a top priority for enterprises, the majority of IT decision makers have not completed technology deployments that address the initiatives critical to customer-facing digital business. For most organizations, efforts like delivering seamless multichannel experiences, customer mobile app usage and engaging customers via smart, connected services are still in process or are in planning phases. The projects that are further along are those that support employee functions, such as cloud document services, mobile app usage and replacing legacy employee software with SasS applications.
Less than 10 percent of respondents are fully deployed in cloud environments Another unexpected finding is that enterprises are in the infancy stages when it comes to cloud adoption despite a heightened focus on migrating operations, processes and services to the cloud. Eighty-six percent say it's critical to their digital transformation initiatives. Respondents also indicate that a cloud infrastructure is key to creating seamless customer experiences and securing partner ecosystems. Bottom line, it may seem as though everything is in the cloud, but this perception is far from the reality.
Eighty-two percent of respondents say security is more challenging as they shift to the cloud, yet 58 percent feel more confident about security as a result of moving to the cloud Yes, this is two stats instead of one, but the two numbers together illustrate an important point about enterprise perceptions of the cloud. It introduces complexity, but when done well, there is an expectation of improved security, making the rewards worth the effort.
Sixty-three percent of IT decision makers equate digital transformation with the Internet of Things Businesses rank engaging customers via smart, connected IoT services as the top definition of digital transformation. While the emerging focus on IoT is no surprise, this definition unexpectedly outperformed definitions like seamless multichannel customer engagement and employee-facing digital initiatives. Sixty-nine percent of organizations are discussing IoT implementations or have started moving forward with planning and deployment. Yet, only 24 percent of respondents said they have fully deployed an infrastructure to support IoT initiatives. The takeaway is IoT is a major driver of digital transformation, but most businesses are still in the early phases of adopting it.
Fifty percent say partner onboarding is the least important element for succeeding at digital transformation This number is surprising because some of the largest data breaches in recent years have been caused by vulnerabilities in partner networks. When third-party service providers and vendors have weaknesses in their security defenses, any organization in their ecosystem without the right digital security measures in place can fall victim to a breach or data misuse. As partner-related data breaches continue to have devastating impacts on businesses, IT leaders have an opportunity to increase their focus on securing partner onboarding and authentication processes.
These stats help clarify the picture of digital transformation's current state, but there was one response that confirms what we already know--security is complicated. We asked survey participants to compare security today with security two years ago and their responses were right in line with expectations.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents say security is more complex today than it was two years ago Responses overwhelmingly point to a dramatic increase in the complexity of security in a relatively brief time period, and security is the top imperative and obstacle for digital transformation. IT teams are coping by increasing budgets, and 82 percent said that they have more dedicated staff and resources than two years ago.
Companies are moving forward as quickly as possible with digital transformation strategies, but the all-encompassing nature of digital business makes it difficult to decide which elements need to be tackled first. This survey offers deep insights into where enterprises are on their digital journeys, but there is more to this story. Identity and access management plays a critical role in digital transformation. It can provide capabilities that address multiple digital transformation priorities simultaneously like security, partner onboarding and multichannel customer engagement. In an upcoming report, we'll explore survey results around the state of identity management and how it's a pivotal component of digital transformation, so stay tuned.