Rangle recently rolled out new research uncovering how c-level executives are dealing with the pressure to deliver digital experiences and stay ahead of the curve of digital transformation. The report reveals that while 80 percent of the C-suite thinks about digital transformation at least once a week, and they’re being “kept up at night” by the fact their digital costs are more than anticipated and the pressure to implement new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), mobile and cloud native.

The study, conducted online with third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only stressors of digital innovation on budget and technology, but the specific fears the C-suite has in investing in new projects and talent that impact a company’s ability to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve.

What’s keeping the C-Suite up at night?

Technology, budgets and single-minded approaches to digital transformation are keeping the C-suite up at night. For many companies, a new approach to their digital initiatives is likely required in order to keep costs down and lessen the risk of being overtaken by another company who is getting it right when it comes to digital experience expectations.

What our Up All Night Report tells us is that many companies still have a very compartmentalized approach to digital transformation and delivering digital experiences to their end users. On top of that, many of these companies are feeling pressure internally – where to invest dollars, be it technology, teams or on a certain project. Our view is that companies need to shift to a focus on outcomes and what those outcomes mean for users. That could be everything from the employees to drive engagement and productivity, or customers to positively help improve their lives of the community as a whole.” said Mark Tiainen, VP, Marketing, Rangle.

Technology

The C-suite is feeling pressure to drive innovative customer experiences that leverage new technology such as AI, IoT, augmented reality (AR) and chatbots. 1 in 8 (13%) said their company can’t even agree on which technologies are best for digital transformation. However, the technologies the C-suite most commonly did feel the pressure to implement are:

  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning – 46 percent
  • Internet of things (IoT) – 42 percent
  • Mobile – 42 percent
  • Cloud native – 41 percent
  • Methodology design systems – 32 percent
  • Augmented reality/mixed reality/virtual reality – 31 percent
  • Voice – 30 percent
  • Chatbots – 27 percent
  • DevOps – 26 percent
  • Lean/Agile delivery – 27 percent

Budgets

The C-suite is feeling pressure to continuously deliver value through their technology investments, with increased focus and minimized risk. Just over a quarter (26%) of the C-suite admits the cost of digital transformation is more than they anticipated.

  • 1 in 6 (16%) fear there is too much risk with new technology
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) fear wasting money on a project that doesn’t work
  • 1 in 6 (18%) can’t agree which departments need to be prioritized for digital transformation
  • However, the most commonly agreed departments that need to be prioritized included IT, sales, and advertising/marketing

Talent

The C-suite is feeling pressure to bridge the talent gap through digital tools and bespoke business applications that enhance employee and customer experiences. Almost a quarter (23%) think their company has trouble finding the right talent to help with digital transformation.

  • 1 in 5 (19%) fear they haven’t hired the right people for digital transformation to be successful
  • 1 in 6 (18%) fear their teams don’t understand enough about digital transformation to be successful
  • 1 in 8 (13%) say they can’t find the right talent for digital transformation
  • 1 in 7 (15%) fear repeating mistakes they already made when previously undergoing digital transformation
  • 1 in 5 (20%) need more help understanding what digital transformation even means

Undefined transformation goals

Digital transformation is a nebulous term and its difficulty to define may be contributing to the aforementioned issues keeping the C-suite up at night. Without clear goals and understanding of how to deliver on digital experiences companies are only going to fall further behind the curve, especially when presented against digitally native companies. In fact, 22% of the C-suite see their digital transformation efforts lasting less than a year, while more than half (52%) of the C-suite only see their digital transformation projects lasting 1-5 years. Only 1 in 10 understand digital transformation is something that will never end.

  • 25 percent of the C-suite thinks their company is behind the digital transformation curve compared to others, with 23 percent also agreeing they think their industry as a whole is behind the curve compared to others
  • 1 in 7 (14%) even fear they’re already too far behind with digital transformation to ever catch up
  • 1 in 7 (14%) don’t think their company is making digital transformation enough of a priority

“The C-suite can finally find sleep at night if they adjust their thinking to be more in line with the concept of a digital supply chain as an alternative to the single-minded view of digital transformation they currently hold. Instead of thinking which department to invest in, they should look at a continuous delivery model and value creation end-to end. Identify the value chains, not the department,” added Mark Tiainen, VP, Marketing, Rangle.

Research Methodology

Rangle.io commissioned YouGov PLC – a third party, professional research and consulting organization – to poll the views of 200 C-Suite professionals. Fieldwork was undertaken between August 20 - August 23, 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About Rangle.io

Rangle.io is a strategic technology and digital consultancy company founded in 2013 breaking through the buzzwords surrounding digital transformation to build better software, solutions and strategies for large-scale companies that need to innovate yet have no idea where to start, such as Staples, Aldo, Progressive, and others.

Acting in a partnership model, it’s relentlessly focused on Lean and Agile innovation framework as a pathway to developing customer and digital-first experiences to help companies get their digital products to market up to 50% faster than industry standards.

Rangle.io is based in Toronto, Canada, with offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Atlanta, Georgia and Tokyo, Japan.