New Market Survey Reveals 5 Key Digital Transformation Trends

Plotting the right course towards digital transformation requires considering so many factors, the choices are bewildering. But, as Dana Korch discovers, help is at hand…

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Dana Korch

December 7, 20226 minutes read

Plotting the right course towards digital transformation requires considering so many factors, the choices are bewildering. But, as Dana Korch discovers, help is at hand in the form of brand-new market insights.

IT organizations are on a continuous path for digital transformation. Much as they’ve made huge recent leaps in their digital growth, there is no finish line in this race. It’s a never-ending journey as new technologies and business needs continue to pop up.

To add to the pressures, Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared, believes “digital transformation projects during the past two years have stimulated executives’ interests in technology.” They’ve seen how technology can streamline their processes and give them access to new market opportunities. Now they want to build on those successes, and they see further investments in technology as a way to arm their organization against whatever is coming next.

But what is coming next? And which of the myriad technologies are the best ones to invest in to deliver on the promise of a brighter, digital-enabled future? Results from a brand-new market survey shed some light.

Who was surveyed?

The survey was conducted by industry experts Vanson Bourne. Pippa Thirkettle, senior research manager, explains “We set out to determine major market challenges across a wider representation of industry sectors and geographies. Our 750 respondents came from 7 countries, a range of industry sectors, and were nearly split equally between mid-market organizations ($100 million to $1 billion in revenue) and enterprise (more than $1 billion).”

The respondents ranged in seniority from junior managers up to C-level leaders and board members. Each of them had knowledge of their organization’s B2B enterprise software and responsibilities for core areas within it.

The survey results indicate five emerging trends where IT organizations are focusing their resources.

Trend #1: Deliver value faster

Of the survey respondents who said they had responsibilities for application delivery, less than half have fully adopted a value stream management (VSM) approach for their software delivery lifecycle.

The most common method organizations are using to measure success with applications/software delivery is improved user experience—an aspect being monitored by half of the respondents. Close behind, 47 percent are measuring success through improved efficiencies, while 42 percent view on-time delivery of their applications as a key metric.

Given the incomplete nature of measuring success through those limited perspectives, early adopters of VSM can gain a competitive advantage over their competition by adopting this valuable strategy.

Trend #2: Leverage cloud as a modernization tactic

A variety of factors are driving organizations to modernize their core business applications, but three stand out among the survey respondents with responsibility for core systems modernization. Most pressing are connectivity with other applications (51 percent), major new application functionality requirements (50 percent), and adopting new processes or delivery practices (43%).

Moving workloads to the cloud is a popular method of modernization. Eighty percent plan to modernize their core applications by moving at least 41 percent of their workloads to the cloud in the next two years. And the average organization is expecting to move 56 percent of their core application workloads to the cloud in that timeframe.

Not surprisingly though, since those applications are core to the business, moving them to the cloud doesn’t come without some concerns. The most common fears are around performance (45 percent), security (43 percent), and reliability (41 percent). Interestingly, only 30 percent of respondents are concerned about cloud costs, but that likely shows how critical the applications are to organizations.

Trend #3: Deliver operational and cost efficiencies

The cloud is also top of mind for leaders with responsibility for IT operations. And rightly so. A shocking 98 percent of them estimate that their organization may unintentionally overspend annually on public cloud infrastructure due to inefficiencies. And while they’re overspending in the cloud, 71 percent are significantly/very concerned with inconsistent policy governance in public cloud as compared to their ability to enforce policy in on-premises data centers.

Additionally, many organizations are trying to advance their IT services management, but there is still work to be done with automating workflows. On average, respondents said 47 percent of their repetitive IT actions and workflows have been automated. But that’s still shy of the 62 percent they felt that should be automated.

Organizations are heading in the right direction, but they need solutions to help them cut cloud waste, control cloud costs, and continue to automate their IT service management workflows.

Trend #4: Evolve to a cyber-resilient mindset

As organizations become more complex, and the environments they exist in become more volatile, it’s key that leaders evolve the current focus on cybersecurity to more of a cyber-resilient mindset. According to 57 percent of the IT security respondents, the primary way to do that is to recruit people with the right skills. Tied for second place with 53 percent each are investing in the right technology and deploying machine learning to better anticipate threats.

As part of that cyber-resilient mindset, organizations are taking a variety of steps to anticipate, withstand, and adapt to today’s threat landscape. The primary action they’re taking is investing in technology (62 percent). After that, 58% are adopting a Zero Trust model. An overwhelming majority—96 percent—are prioritizing cyber supply chain risk management. They understand the importance of ensuring the integrity of their supply chain throughout the product lifecycle and are looking for technology that will help them identify, assess, and mitigate the risks.

Trend #5: Corral key data

Business leaders recognize that data analytics can give them a competitive edge. But 73 percent of the data analytics respondents say their organizations have so much data that it’s difficult for them to get the insights they need. By prioritizing projects to unlock that data, and then powering their data analyticswith AI and machine learnings, those organizations can make better strategic decisions and improve their ability to serve their customers.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all place to initiate new analytics projects. While 31 percent of organizations are using the public cloud, 39 percent are opting for a hybrid public/private cloud approach, and 30 percent are sticking with either a private cloud or on-premises solution.

The respondents identified multiple factors limiting adoption of public cloud for analytics. The two most common involve security (62 percent) and data volume size (60 percent). So, identifying an analytics solution that can address those issues is key to moving forward—and one place to start is with a unified platform that doesn’t lock you into a single cloud vendor.

Where to go from here

Digital transformation is a relentless and complex challenge. Coping with the chaos of digital change means understanding the intersections between business needs and technologies that will be able to deliver them, now and into the future. Market insights such as the Vanson Bourne study offer important perspectives on which course to steer.

As thousands of organizations have done, tapping into Micro Focus’ broad portfolio of enterprise software and professional services is a practical next step. We help customers embrace their digital dilemma so they can run and transform their organization at the same time.

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Dana Korch

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