More than one-third of organisations are already enjoying the benefits of investments in digital transformation, according to new research results published by Fujitsu.
In addition, almost nine out of 10 firms (89%) are currently planning, testing, or implementing digitalisation initiatives, leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to the Fujitsu Global Digital Transformation Survey conducted among business leaders in 15 countries.
According to the survey, digitalisation is boosting business, with an increase in revenue cited as the main benefit (46%). Enhanced relationships with customers (44%) and strengthened competitiveness of products (36%) are also highly ranked, along with improved business efficiency and better business models or processes.
As digital technologies are increasingly embedded in business and society, they are revolutionizing the way we live and work. However, some areas are seeing more profound change than others. The Fujitsu research highlights that the main digitalisation focus areas are marketing (38%), workstyle (35%), as well as operation and maintenance (30%).
One key characteristic of a successful future digital workforce will be its ability to work closely with AI-based intelligent systems, which can perform information searches and turn data into actionable insights. Business leaders surveyed are enthusiastic about the potential of AI and the benefits from blending AI and human creativity. More than three quarters see AI as an opportunity, while 82% agree that AI will enhance the capabilities of people.
Duncan Tait, senior executive vice-president and head of Americas and EMEIA at Fujitsu, comments: “Digital transformation is a reality of business today – and already providing a strong positive impact on the bottom line for companies that are forging ahead.
“As our survey underlines, digitalization is not only about introducing new technologies, but a true game changer. Thanks to levels of connectivity and data-driven insight that were unimaginable just five years ago, the real key to success comes from making sure this wealth of information is fully exploited, and that people are empowered to use their creativity.
“Successful companies are teaming up with technology vendors such as Fujitsu to co-create digitalisation strategies that place people at their core, and fully leverage the power of technologies such as AI and the IoT.”
Digitalisation is also accelerating in industry-specific business processes, says the survey.
For example, fintech innovation is disrupting and driving the transformation of retail finance, while IoT means manufacturing companies can take a radically new approach to designing, building and operating smart factories. One example is the INESA Group in China, which worked with Fujitsu to leverage IoT and Big Data technologies and create an intelligent manufacturing process.
According to the survey, between a third and half of organisations have already embarked on industry-specific digital transformation, with the financial services and healthcare industries leading the way, at 51%.
The most important success factors for digital transformation are talented staff with the right skills (19%), strong leadership (18%), and streamlined organizations and processes (17%), according to the survey. In addition, many organisations recognise the importance of collaborating with partners, including technology partners and suppliers.
In the 2017 edition of the Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision, Fujitsu predicts that in the digital era, co-creating for innovation will become the norm – blending customer business expertise with digital technology and creating new value together with business partners and customers.
When it comes to choosing the right technology partner for digitalisation projects, organizations will increasingly select partners based on their ability to demonstrate the right technological capabilities in the areas of IoT, advanced analytics, AI and cyber-security, as well as technology vendors who can demonstrate industry understanding and empathy with regard to business requirements, vision and strategy.
Fujitsu believes digital technology will empower people, businesses and the public sector to collaborate and co-create to transform business, drive social innovation and ultimately create a better future.