Survey reveals concerns around the digital transformation journey in APAC organizations

ACROSS all industries around the globe, businesses are on journeys of digital transformation which can determine how well an organization is able to adapt to new markets and competitive pressures.

Digital transformations requires organizations to take a step out of their comfort zones and adopt emerging, disruptive technologies. Those technologies viewed as offering the most transformative value are also often perceived as having the highest risk, or being the most challenging to test and implement in the work place.

Despite the potential benefits from embarking on a journey of digital transformation, many organizations are reluctant to undertake this challenging journey, or feel under-prepared for the adoption of new technologies.

In order to explore this further, The ISACA Digital Transformation Barometer research conducted a survey to “provide a digital transformation reality check that assesses actual technology adoption plans, level of sentiment of support and concern, and monetary commitments to deploy emerging technology by geography and industry,” according to ISACA CEO, Matt Loeb.

The survey collected the responses of 4,164 individuals in information technology, security and business executives, managers and professionals from companies of varying sizes in a wide range of industries across the globe.

Digitally literate leaders

Those leaders who are digitally literate were shown to have a higher openness to evaluate new technologies.        Source: Shutterstock

The survey has revealed that only 51 percent of those surveyed in Asia feel that their leaders are digitally literate; a hall mark that is necessary for business transformation.

Organizations that perceive their leadership to be “digitally literate” are generally more receptive to the evaluation and adoption of new and emerging technologies than those with leaders not considered to be digitally literate.

In Asia, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data were voted as the top emerging technologies.

Those leaders who are digitally literate were shown to have a higher openness to evaluate new technologies. 44 percent of digitally literate global respondents reported doing so “frequently”, with just 14 percent of non-digitally literate leaders reporting evaluation of technologies frequently.

“To lead effectively, senior leaders have to be able to articulate the vision for the future of their companies in the context of the technologies that will get them there,” said ISACA CEO, Matt Loeb in the report.

Those organizations considered digitally literate were shown to carry out more research, development and pilots of emerging technologies. The only technology in the survey where there was a relatively close volume of piloting or R&D was the public cloud.

Organizations with digitally literate leaders do more R&D and pilots.           Source: ISACA Digital Transformation Barometer Study

High risk technologies

The survey also asked respondents from various industries about which technologies they perceived to be the most risk. Perhaps due to the very public data breaches that have surfaced surrounding IoT devices, the resistance to adopt this technology is high in the sectors most affected. For instance, 69 percent of government and military respondents and 71 percent of healthcare respondents reported IoT as having the highest risk.

Furthermore, a whopping seventy-four percent of surveyed business technology leaders reported feeling extremely concerned about their organizations ability to safeguard connected devices in IoT.

“The resounding message from our research is clear: senior leadership needs to invest in increasing its digital fluency. Organizations with digitally fluent leadership are more clearly recognizing the benefits and risks of emerging technologies” says Loeb.