The past two years have exceeded our expectations when it comes to what technology can do for business. There has been a renewed understanding of the importance of Digital Transformation since the beginning of the pandemic and adapting to the new landscape has been both challenging and rewarding for organisations around the world. In order to explore how Irish businesses are navigating these changes, Microsoft Ireland commissioned a report, titled: “Digital Ireland – Inclusive Recovery: The Economic and Transformational Impact of Digital Technology in Ireland”. The report explores the status of both public and private organisations throughout Ireland, and looks at the adoption, usage and future planned investment in digitalisation in 2022 and beyond. By surveying 360 business and technology leaders, Microsoft Ireland were able to establish three emerging themes. We explore each theme in more detail below.
1.The Digital Imperative
From the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a shift in IT and digital practices for business. Many organisations have switched gears and upped their game as a result of changing workplace environments and leading through the challenges that Covid-19 presented. The ‘Digital Ireland’ report highlights that 82% of technology leaders agree that the pandemic has forced them to move faster and sooner on major changes to how they use digital services and technologies, with a further 77% of respondents acknowledging that the digitised processes introduced since the pandemic began, will have a lasting positive impact on their business.
However, these changes do not come without their challenges, with many respondents citing resistance to change, alignment with business strategy and a behind the curve hybrid- work set up as some of their current barriers to successful Digital Transformation. In a previous blog post, we look at how to reimagine the Hybrid Workplace so you can help master it within your organisation.
2. The Digital Evolution
Within the report, business leaders highlight several technologies that they expect will play a critical role in enabling digitalisation in their organisations over the coming years, including Systems and Technology (63%), Data, AI and Analytics (60%) and Digital Skills (57%). Talent and Culture, Operating Models and Partnerships and Investment also rank highly among key enablers to support digitalisation. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and their investment in creating the Online Passport Renewals system is a fantastic example of how investing in and leveraging technology can fundamentally improve a service and customer experience. You can learn more about this project, here.
Whilst a shift towards these strategic enablers is key to successful adoption, business leaders expressed challenges in future digital investments, including: integrating new technologies with existing systems, security concerns and bringing teams together to utilise technology more affectively. Digital Transformation, Cybersecurity and Cloud Migration are the top three priority initiatives that organisations plan to invest in over the next three years to rectify these issues.
3. The Digital Future
Sustainability is at the forefront of the minds of all C-Suite Executives and business owners when it comes to strategic planning for 2022 and beyond. While some have begun their quest to reduce waste and implement sustainability plans, more business leaders admit that they have quite a way to go. According to Microsoft’s report, 72% of business leaders believe that digitalisation will be a key enabler to their sustainability goals, by embracing digital technologies and migrating on-premises applications to cloud. The report also says:
“The industry body DIGITALEUROPE estimates that digital technologies have the potential to enable a 20% reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. And in fact, Accenture takes this even further, finding in a recent research report that migrating on-premises applications to a hyper-scale cloud platform can reduce carbon emissions by more than 84% and cut energy usage by 65%.”
The challenge for many organisations will be to carve their own path towards sustainability, assessing where their social responsibilities lie and how to embrace changes internally within their teams.
Accelerating Digital Transformation in Your Organisation
Microsoft’s Digital Ireland Inclusive Recovery Report brings to the table some of the emerging themes that businesses must look toward for 2022. The pandemic has changed the horizon for organisations and new ways of working and operating a business have changed the way we work. What were once short-term fixes must now ignite conversation for strategic long-term changes. Here at ActionPoint, we have and continue to help organisations on their Digital Transformation journeys. If you would like to reach out to a member of our Digital Transformation team, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to find out more about what we do.