Lack of expertise is the greatest barrier in the digital transformation process of Hungarian companies

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Spark Institute at IBS has just revealed the results of their Big Digital Transformation Survey made last fall, 2017. In Hungary this was the first survey conducted among corporate decision-makers that provides us an overview on how the companies are with digital strategy and disruptive technologies. Digital transformation is essential for survival, but the attitude and business plans associated with it show little gaps: half of the respondents do not have a digital strategy and only one out of five company executives feel that they are prepared for it. It is encouraging that all the respondents consider it important to use digital devices, and 91% consider it as a significant business potential. You can see the most important findings of the survey in the following infographic (infographic is in Hungarian).

Between October 2017 and January 2018, Spark Institute at IBS conducted the Big Digital Transformation Survey - both  in-depth and online questionnaire - and received responses from 117 of corporate decision-makers of Hungarian companies. The Budapest-based international leadership training institute investigated what the Hungarian C-level leaders and middle managers think about digital transformation. The aim of the survey was to provide a more subtle picture of the scale of digitization culture in the domestic corporate segment and to explore where companies are in the digital transformation process.

The survey revealed that there is no unified picture in the minds: 30-30% of company executives interpret the digital transformation as a technology-IT issue or as a novel approach. For a quarter of respondents, the concept is equal to digital culture building, and every sixth participant considers it as a methodology. To this extent, the majority expects revenue growth, or cost reductions, one third thinks that the solution for the introduction of new services or products is digitization, and the rest believes they will be able to conquer new markets.

A digital mindset is a must in today’s business environment

Hungarian leaders are not questioning the importance of digitization, although they are not deliberately planning with it (54% have a digital strategy). Almost everyone agrees with the statement (91%) that a company that does not support digital development is likely to fail and they (92%) consider it very important today to use digital tools, solutions and approaches. However, 23% of them is not planning with a digital strategy in the upcoming year.

A significant part of the respondents (75%) are prepared to respond to the quickly changing environment, and they are facing the challenges with openness. Most (68%) believe that work processes will be restructured, and the necessary knowledge required to work also changes. This means that future organizations will need the same size of workforce, but with different skills and knowledge. They do not even fear that their position would be jeopardized in the changed environment, moreover, they (73%) believe they will have more professional opportunities within their role.

Without the professional knowledge, strategic development is impossible

According to the research Hungarian companies have three main barriers when it comes to digital transformation: inadequate in-house expertise, a fear of changing digital culture (law willingness of risk-taking) and corporate inflexibility. Only one out of five leaders say that he is able to support digital transformation with self-confidence. The majority of decision-makers (42%) feel that they are fundamentally informed, but there are so many (39%) who have absolutely no or only superficial knowledge on the topic.

"In the past 3 years, we were helping many large companies towards digital transformation and I can state that the three critical areas leaders need to develop are the following: first is the digital mindset, i.e. the acquisition of a digital approach and culture, second is the ability to translate radically new business logic into day-to-day practice that requires the use of new methodologies, and last but not least the the deeper knowledge of the disruptive and new technologies" - said Frankó-Csuba Dea, CEO of Spark Institute at IBS. - "At Spark Institute our programs are designed to narrow the gap between the current level of knowledge and the knowledge that is expected in these areas. An important first step in the process is to make business leaders aware that the digital transformation is accompanied by the transformation of business models, frameworks and organizational culture. "

Hungarian companies already have their digital transformation goals for 2018

Most of the companies have realized the importance of digital transformation, and company leaders are also open to it. Nine out of ten decision-makers are planning to educate themselves in related business development or technological topics. Even more, a total of 93% of them admitted that an effort towards digital transformation was already taken within their company (typically micro-level). In addition, half of the companies who have not had a digital strategy yet, are planning with it in the next year.

The research also revealed what and how company executives would do to improve their company's performance: learn agile methodologies, improve communications, work on quick, flexible, innovative and creative thinking, learn how to tolerate failure, get deeper knowledge of the market, as well as learn the professional language are all listed.