By Gloria Lombardi (@LOMBARDI_GLORIA)

Arthur D. Little’s Digital Transformation Index reveals that 80% of surveyed companies are lagging behind.

From logistics and manufacturing to consumer goods and entertainment, every major industry is grappling to respond to the realities of an on-demand, personalised digital economy.

Despite CEOs and strategists working around the clock to realign their businesses to embrace digitalisation, a new global study from Arthur D. Little (ADL) reveals that the majority of corporations still underestimate the risks of failing to keep pace with a rapidly digitising economy, and feel ill-equipped to make a holistic digital transformation.

In The 2015 Digital Transformation Study, ADL found that although front-runners have emerged, most companies still take a piecemeal approach to digital transformation.  Companies struggle to fully embrace digitalisation because of lagging adoption in their business models and, from an HR perspective, new data-based personalised services and overall digital capabilities. Only 17% of surveyed companies have comprehensive roadmaps in place to master the digital transformation.




ADL ranked industries’ overall readiness to embrace digital transformation and respond to digital disruption, which revealed that traditional technology-heavy industries were moving faster to realign their businesses to the digital economy:

  • Automotive
  • Telecoms & Media
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Financial Services
  • Consumer & Life Sciences
  • EPC & Manufacturing
  • Travel & Transport




The study offers global CEOs five key recommendations as they prepare for and respond to the ever-increasing pressure to digitalise:

  • View digitisation as a strategic imperative
  • Embrace digitisation as a new way to achieve business objectives, not as an end goal
  • Take a holistic, cross-functional approach to digital transformation
  • Build a tailored digitisation strategy
  • Start with a clear understanding of the business’s current capabilities and competencies

“As customers across the world embrace the new marketplace of shared ownership, on-demand services, and personalisation, no industry is immune to the growing need for digital transformation,” said Dr. Michael Opitz, initiator of the study and leader of ADL’s TIME Practice.

“We fear that today too few CEOs recognise the urgent need to not just invest in new technology, but fully realign every aspect of their businesses to the new digitally driven marketplace.”



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