World business is not so digital-savvy: High street banks fly, while shops flop

By Kitty Knowles 8 December 2016
Digital stock market. Pic: iStock/Nikada

One in three companies are underprepared, new report reveals.

Today we think of technology as connecting the world’s business. But we’re actually falling desperately short, suggests a new study from research analysts at Ovum.

A whopping 33% of businesses globally are frighteningly underprepared for so-called “digital transformation” – the process of replacing older technologies and platforms with the latest flexible, cost-effective upgrades.

What’s more, while investment is growing globally (the top 3 regions where spending is increasing most rapidly are South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America), others like North America, Western Europe and Australia show the slowest increase.

Across the world, just 7% of businesses believe they’re up-do-date and digitally-savvy.

That sounds like a lot of unfinished projects…

Banks lead the way

The study of 7,000 business tech chiefs across 62 countries did, however, find that financial services were driving innovation in business.

Tech chiefs from the sector had the most confidence in their digital transformation, with 60% of decision makers believe they are “well advanced” in digital transformation, or at least “in progress”.

High street banks appear to lead the way with retail banks claiming to be the most advanced, followed by payments, insurance and financial markets.

Shops lag behind

On the flip-side, the world of digital shopping appears to be trailing behind. Respondents from the retail sector considered their industry to be the least prepared for digital transformation.

Worryingly, other lagging sectors include Government and healthcare.

In the public sector, 38% of tech chiefs thought their sector was seeing some or significant disruption from digital technologies, but only 29% thought their own business was affected.

Whatever industry you work in, this imbalance in digital adoption will effect you and your business.

In a world economy that is increasingly interconnected, remember, a team is only as strong as its weakest player…