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The state of digital disruption in five charts

Who is being disrupted by digital technology and what impact is it having on businesses?

A new research report from Couchbase has investigated enterprises' reactions to digital disruption, surveying 450 heads of digital transformation such as CIOs, CDOs and CTOs in the US, UK, France and Germany.

It shows that the vast majority of industries are facing digital disruption, but that in practice, transformation projects often aren't living up to expectations.

Here, we summarise some of the key findings in five charts.

Regardless of its scale, there is no doubt that digital technology has the potential to disrupt industries across the world. Indeed, 73% of digital leaders believe that their industry is being disrupted by digital technology, while a further 16% say that it's only a matter of time.

This disruption is reflected in spending. On average, organisations spent $5.67 million on digital innovation and transformation projects in the last 12 months, with 15% spending over $10 million.

As the scale of investment continues to increase within organisations, there will clearly be a great deal more focus on whether objectives are being met and benefits realised.

No matter its scale, digital transformation needs clear goals in order to justify the spend. The most important benefit of digital transformation projects that respondents identified was improving customer experience, with 94% claiming it as "very" or "somewhat" important.

Other significant benefits identified included improving the experience of end-users in the business, making internal processes such as HR, the supply chain and finance more efficient, and creating services and experiences that stand out from the competition.

Yet despite all the promises of digital innovation, projects are often falling short of expectations. The great danger for transformation teams is that sizeable investments create results that, while welcome, are still only incremental improvements rather than revolutionary transformations. Almost half of organisations (48%) have only been able to make small improvements in customer experience through digital projects.

At the other end of the scale, 4% claim to have revolutionised the experience to the extent that it's unique in their industry.

Against this backdrop, digital teams need to use every resource at their disposal, in particular data, to ensure that they can provide truly revolutionary improvements to the business. The use of data is critical to new digital services, but also the ability to use that data in the right way at the right time.

Yet despite its importance, 90% of digital decision-makers feel that their ambitions to use data for new digital services are curtailed by a lack of resources, the complexity of using multiple technologies or reliance on legacy database technology.

Picture: Shutterstock

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