A new report released by Endava confirms concerns over the effectiveness of digital transformation (DX) efforts across APAC businesses, noting that 66% believe their last year's DX investments have been squandered.
Endava’s study, titled 'Leveraging the Human Advantage for Business Transformation', identifies some of the broad implications of poorly-executed DX projects. The report states that only half, or even less, of the DX projects undertaken by 88% of senior business leaders over the last year achieved the anticipated goals or outcomes, adversely affecting the employee experience.
More specifically, frustrated staff is a prevalent issue among 56% of the companies surveyed, while employee turnover has increased for 50%. Additionally, 44% of businesses reported having less stimulating work environments.
The research identifies reasons for these outcomes, revealing that lack of employee buy-in, conflicting leadership opinions, and inadequate internal cooperation are among the top detriments to DX project success.
Endava's research claims that a human-centric approach is crucial within DX investment efforts. A large majority of businesses reported unsatisfactory results from previous DX projects, signalling the need for improved focus on employees during the planning, development, and deployment stages of these initiatives.
An additional 59% of organisations admitted that their DX investments in the previous year failed to provide the desired business value.
Nonetheless, it's not just the competitive position or infrastructure of companies that suffer when DX projects miss their mark. The research suggests that employees' experiences were also negatively impacted, leading to staff frustration, higher attrition rates, and less stimulating work environments.
The report further reveals the need for regular inclusion of staff during the evolution to a digital business era, which is often overlooked. Key to this is incorporating cultural considerations to inspire user engagement, as indicated by 39% of respondents.
Leadership conflicts and inadequate internal cooperation also play a significant role, emphasising the struggle to effectively negotiate organisational dynamics or involve stakeholders in projects.
Regarding the positive prevalence of AI and automation, the survey reveals that over half of the APAC respondents have already managed its deployment or are running proofs of concept. It also shows that 69% foresee clearer, more transparent communication because of these technologies. Importantly, 51% believe that it is extremely significant to retain human influence over their use of AI.
Despite the issues surrounding DX projects, those who managed them right witnessed impressive employee and customer outcomes apart from the usual business benefits. Respondents reported an improvement in customer experiences as well as an increase in employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention along with process optimization and cost reduction.
Endava's CEO, John Cotterell, commented on the issue stating that the success of digital solutions depends substantially on the understanding of people's responses to new technologies. He emphasised the need for a people-first approach throughout all stages of digital evolution.
He adds that businesses are appreciating the importance of human response to new technologies as well as the possible impact of technologic development that doesn't prioritise people.