Business needs outpace digital strategy

While finance, HR, and IT leaders recognise the importance of digital transformation, 55% of senior business leaders say their digital strategy is always or often outpaced by the demands of the business, according to Workday. 

As a result, the digital acceleration gap is widening, where business needs are changing faster than the technology, processes, and culture required to keep pace. 

In response, leaders are adopting a more sustained approach to transformation by prioritising access to data and employee experience.

Workday surveyed 1,150 global senior business leaders in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region to understand the pace of digital transformation over the course of the past two years and the biggest barriers to success.

To help close the acceleration gap, finance leaders at focusing on unified, fast data. More than half (51%) of finance leaders say that one of the most important elements to accelerating planning, execution, and analysis cycles is new technologies that can help integrate data between disparate systems and break down internal data silos. 

Yet, 61% say that technology that unifies financial, people, and operational data is their most pressing need, with 64% admitting that it takes weeks — or more — to get results at the end of a reporting period.

HR leaders are focusing on employee experience and skills development, with 25% ranking resilience and adaptability first among skills that will ensure teams can continuously meet business demands as they evolve. 

Further, half of HR leaders say positive employee experiences are most important to accelerating transformation across the business.

IT leaders are focusing on breaking down silos to drive automation. While CIOs hold the key to data-fueled transformation, many are overwhelmed by the pace of change as legacy constraints and data silos are top barriers to digital transformation. 

Only 42% of IT leaders are confident in their teams’ ability to adopt cloud technologies without legacy constraints. 

Further, half of IT leaders are struggling to keep pace with service upgrades as part of legacy technology, with 59% saying it can take weeks or months to change an automated business process.