The Keys to a Successful Digital Transformation – Insights from the Global Tech Report 2023
Amidst constant technological change and global economic uncertainty, the Global Tech Report 2023* highlights some valuable insights for businesses navigating digital transformation. Released last week, this report considers the challenges, opportunities, and strategies that technology leaders around the world are adopting to stay ahead in the race for innovation.
- ESG takes centre stage – One of the most significant findings of the report is the prioritisation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments as the top innovation goal for technology functions over the next two years. Businesses are recognising the imperative of integrating sustainability and ethical considerations into their technological advancements.
- Leadership embraces emerging tech – The report reveals a remarkable shift, with the number of businesses securing leadership buy-in for emerging tech soaring from 10% in 2022 to 38% in 2023. This surge in support from senior leaders is a testament to the growing recognition of the value of emerging technologies.
- Tech productivity soars – Digital transformation efforts are yielding substantial results, with 63% of respondents reporting increased performance by up to 11% within the last 24 months. This boost in tech productivity underscores the tangible benefits of technology investments.
- AI leads the way – Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerges as the crown jewel of emerging technologies, with leaders identifying it as the most important technology for achieving short-term goals. AI’s potential to enhance efficiency, decision-making, and customer experiences is driving its adoption.
- Coordination challenges persist – While the enthusiasm for technology is evident, coordination issues between technology functions and other business units continue to pose significant challenges. Effective collaboration remains a critical but sometimes elusive goal for digital transformation.
- Budget constraints loom – Economic uncertainty has left its mark, with 67% of technology leaders stating that they are expected to achieve more with smaller budgets compared to the previous year. This financial constraint adds pressure to already demanding transformation efforts.
The KPMG Global Tech Report 2023 not only offers valuable insights but also imparts critical lessons for businesses in the digital age:
- Strategic alignment is essential – Aligning technology investments with strategic goals is the linchpin of successful digital transformation. In uncertain times, a clear strategic roadmap becomes even more vital to avoid wasting resources.
- Agility is key – Technology is evolving at pace, and businesses must be agile. Not every experiment will succeed, but nimble organisations can adapt swiftly, optimising outcomes by scaling successful initiatives and shelving less promising ones.
- Transparency and ESG commitment matter – Businesses must prioritise transparency, ESG commitments, and ethical considerations. These factors are not only integral to responsible corporate citizenship but also crucial for attracting and retaining customers and investors.
- Collaboration is non-negotiable – Effective collaboration between technology functions and the broader business is essential for driving meaningful digital progress. Encouraging diversity within the tech function can bolster collaboration and innovation.
- Cybersecurity and Data Privacy are imperative – With customer expectations for data privacy and cybersecurity on the rise, businesses must make these aspects central to their strategic priorities. Protecting both business value and customer trust is paramount.
Tips and Advice for SMEs
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the report offers practical guidance:
- Start with a clear strategy
SMEs should begin by defining clear strategic objectives and aligning technology investments with those goals. A well-defined roadmap will help maximise the value of technology.
- Leverage emerging tech
Don’t shy away from emerging technologies like AI. They can level the playing field and provide opportunities for innovation and growth, even for smaller businesses.
- Embrace collaboration
SMEs should foster collaboration between their technology teams and other departments. An open and inclusive culture can lead to more successful digital transformations.
- Prioritise ESG and Ethics
SMEs should consider the ethical and sustainability aspects of their technology investments. Demonstrating a commitment to ESG can enhance reputation and attract socially conscious customers.
- Invest wisely
With budget constraints in mind, SMEs should prioritise investments that yield the most significant returns. Focus on technologies that directly align with your strategic goals.
With technological innovation becoming both a driving force and a response to economic uncertainty, the KPMG Global Tech Report 2023 provides valuable guidance for businesses of all sizes. Leaders who commit to innovation continue to realise value despite the challenges, and emerging technologies like AI are gaining prominence.
For SMEs, the key takeaway is the importance of aligning technology investments with strategic objectives, embracing collaboration, and remaining agile in the face of change. The focus on ESG, ethics, and cybersecurity highlights the need for responsible and forward-thinking technology.
Techn22’s Managing Director, Gareth Dalton, emphasises the importance of aligning technology investments with strategic goals, a sentiment echoed in the report: “Businesses should be determined, not deterred, in their pursuit of digital transformation. By heeding the lessons and advice from this report, organisations can navigate the complexities of digital progress with confidence, realising value that ensures competitiveness and resilience.”
About the Global Tech Report 2023*
The Global Tech Report 2023 provides invaluable insights into the priorities of global c-suite decision makers. With over 2,000 respondents from diverse regions, this report uncovers strategies for relevance and competitiveness. Despite economic challenges, committed digital transformation leaders are achieving rapid value, reinforcing the importance of determination over deterrence. Download the full report here.
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