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Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index

Almost half of Indian Business Leaders Believe They’ll Struggle to Meet Changing Customer Demands Within Five Years

The other half of India heads of business believe they’ll disrupt rather than be disrupted – according to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index

 by Suman Gupta

  • 12% of Indian businesses are digital leaders – 5% more than the percentage of Digital Leaders in China – another fast growing, emerging market
  • Almost half (48%) of Indian businesses are worried they’ll struggle to meet changing customer demands within five years
  • The other half (46%) of Indian businesses believe they’ll disrupt rather than be disrupted
  • A quarter (25%) of Indian businesses fear their organization will get left behind within five years
  • Business leaders identify data privacy and cybersecurity concerns as the biggest barrier to digital transformation

Just 12% of Indian businesses are Digital Leaders, according to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (the DT Index). The DT Index, which was completed in collaboration with Intel, maps digital transformation progress of mid to large-sized companies and examines the digital hopes and fears of business leaders. The study reveals that 48% of India heads of business believe their organization will struggle to meet changing customer demands within just five years and a quarter (25%) fear they’ll be left behind (although this is better than the situation in China, where 38% of business leaders are worried they’ll be left behind).The DT Index’s calculations are based on companies’ perceived performance in the following areas: delivering against the core attributes of a digital business**, their existing IT strategy, workforce transformation strategy and planned investments.

Two years after the DT Index’s initial launch in 2016, Dell Technologies and Intel have more than doubled the scope of the research, from 16 countries to 42 and benchmarked 4,600 businesses, using the following groupings:

Benchmark groups Description 2018 country analysis 2016 country analysis  
Digital Leaders Digital transformation, in its various forms, is ingrained in the DNA of the business 12% 8%
Digital Adopters Have a mature digital plan, investments and innovations in place 34% 29%
Digital Evaluators Cautiously and gradually embracing digital transformation; planning and investing for the future 40% 37%
Digital Followers Very few digital investments; tentatively starting to plan for the future 14% 21%
Digital Laggards Do not have a digital plan, limited initiatives and investments in place 2% 5%

While there has been minimal growth in the Digital Leadership group, the DT Index has tracked movement across other groups. For instance, 34% of businesses now are categorized as Digital Adopters (a 5% rise on 2016). These companies have advanced digital plans and innovations in place to power their transformation. The percentage of Digital Followers (a digitally immature group) has also dropped, from 21% in 2016, to 14% in 2018.However, too many companies are either coasting in the Digital Evaluator group or stuck in the bottom two groups, meaning they’re either moving too slowly or don’t even have a digital plan in place.

 Barriers to digital transformation

According to the research, 93% of Indian businesses are facing major impediments to digital transformation today.

The top five barriers to digital transformation are:

  1. Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns
  2. Regulation or legislative changes
  3. Lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise
  4. Information overload
  5. Weak digital governance and structure

These barriers are hampering digital transformation efforts. For instance, 91% of Indian business leaders believe that digital transformation should be more widespread throughout the organization (compared to 84% in 2016).

“It’s an exciting time to be in business. We’re at a crucial intersection – where technology, business and mankind meet to create a better, more connected world,” said Rajesh Janey, President and MD – India Enterprise, Dell EMC. “However, only technology-centered organizations will reap the rewards offered by a digital business model, including the ability to monetize the data, identify actionable insights, move quickly and automate everything to delight customers. This is why digital transformation needs to be a number one priority.”

Conquering their challenges :The research indicates that businesses are taking steps to overcome their barriers, along with the threat of being outmaneuvered from more nimble, innovative players. We can see this with the:

  • 63% of Indian businesses using digital technologies to accelerate new product/services development (a 9% increase on 2016)
  • 63% sharing knowledge across functions, by equipping IT leaders with business skills and business leaders with IT skills (a 45% increase on 2016)
  • 61% striving to develop the right skills sets and expertise in-house, such as teaching staff how to code (a 35% increase on 2016)
  • 61% of businesses building security and privacy into all devices, applications and algorithms (an 8% increase on 2016)

Companies are also turning to emerging technologies and cybersecurity to power (and secure) their transformation.

Planned investments within the next one to three years:

  • 74% of Indian businesses intend to invest in cybersecurity (19% higher than the proportion of businesses investing in cybersecurity in China)
  • 67% of Indian businesses intend to invest in IoT technologies (11% more than Chinese companies)
  • 62% of Indian businesses intend to invest in multi-cloud (7% more than Chinese firms)
  • 61% of Indian businesses intend to invest in Artificial Intelligence (only 1% more than companies in China)

A small but significant number of businesses are even planning to experiment with nascent technologies. 37% will be investing in blockchain, 31% in quantum computing and 42% in VR/AR. 

“We’ve talked about being on the cusp of tremendous change for some time now. That’s no longer the case,” added Alok Ohrie, President and CEO – India Commercial, Dell EMC. “The next digital era has arrived and it’s reshaping the way we live, work and conduct business. Which means that time is of the essence. Genuine transformation needs to happen now, and it needs to be radical.”

About Dell Technologies  : Dell Technologies is a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. The company services customers of all sizes across 180 countries – ranging from 99 percent of the Fortune 500 to individual consumers – with the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from the edge to the core to the cloud.


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