Ask executives around the world just what they’re trying to achieve with digital transformation and you can boil it down to four core pillars, according to a survey conducted by 451 Research and commissioned by CenturyLink Inc.

The pillars are:

  1. Improve the level of business agility (named by 53 per cent of executives). Executives want to modernize IT infrastructure for availability, speed and resilience.
  2. Better manage risk (49 per cent). The most pressing concern of executives here was securing customer data.
  3. Improve operational efficiency (41 per cent). Companies want to better harness data to improve their decision-making.
  4. Improve the internal or external customer experience (41 per cent). Enterprises want improved customer touch-points from mobile to in-store to call centres.

The poll was conducted among 1,400 executives from across different verticals. Many are expecting major disruption (42 per cent to be precise) as a result of digital technology being deployed in their industry. Executives want to grapple with that challenge, but also expect their work to take three to five years.

Perhaps the most interesting question asked by 451 to executives was about how they’re measuring the digital transformation at their company. It’s common to hear different vendors associating the trend of digital transformation with their technology or solution, and it’s easy to forget that digital transformation is really about business outcomes and not what products and services you’re buying.

If business outcomes are your objective, then you need metrics to measure your progress towards those goals. The CenturyLink-sponsored survey asked how executives were measuring those across the four pillars:

KPIs for digital transformation - 451 research

“This study shows that organizations are emphasizing cost-saving operational efficiencies, so improvement in the time to respond to stock inquiries, process sales orders and manage customer requests is understandably viewed as one vital statistic,” the study states.

The top metrics tracked for the impact of digital transformation at enterprises is either response times (to sales orders for example) at 35 per cent, or changes in employee productivity (also at 35 per cent).

The graphic above includes other key metrics used. It’s a decent place to start if you’re looking for a way to measure digital transformation at your own company.



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