Digital transformation is a top priority for Dutch and Belgian companies, but fatigue and skill shortages are hampering progress
Study by Avanade reveals that despite fatigue, digital transformation in the Netherlands and Belgium is still ahead of the rest of world
UTRECHT - October 29, 2019
While the majority (87.5 percent) of Dutch and Belgian business leaders cite digital transformation as a top three priority, on average 50 percent of organisations in the Netherlands and Belgium believe that progress is being delayed due to the onset of ‘digital transformation fatigue’ according to research published by Avanade, the leading digital innovator on the Microsoft ecosystem
Avanade’s global survey of 1,150 senior executives found that fatigue was the result of a number of challenges being encountered during the transformation process, the biggest of which in the Netherlands and Belgium, was the hiring of relevant expertise:
Biggest barriers to digital transformation in the Netherlands and Belgium:
- hiring and training suitable employees with the right knowledge and skills required for the transformation process (50 percent)
- investment in new technologies and innovation without integrating them with current systems (45 percent)
- challenges around modernizing current systems and processes (41 percent)
- too fragmented corporate culture that does not embrace extensive changes (31 percent).
Meanwhile, Dutch and Belgian organisations scored better than the global average at having the right tools (technologies for integration) that are needed for transformation. Only 17 percent of the executives surveyed consider this a barrier, compared to 28 percent worldwide.
Critical systems modernized but not yet in the Cloud
Despite a feeling of "fatigue", companies in the Netherlands and Belgium are ahead in their digital transformation journeys compared with the rest of the world; more than half (51 percent) of Dutch and Belgian respondents indicated that they have already modernized or replaced their business-critical systems vs the global average of 40 percent. The survey revealed the expected higher growth as the biggest draw for replacing critical systems (13 percent) followed closely by increasing market share (10 percent), increasing productivity (10 percent), increasing agility (10 percent) and reducing costs (9 percent).
However, the Netherlands and Belgium are behind when it comes to the transition to the cloud. On average, 79 percent of companies worldwide have moved their activities to the cloud to better integrate new intelligent technology within the organisation. In the Netherlands and Belgium this average is only 70 percent.
"Belgian and Dutch companies see many advantages in digital transformation. Business leaders value the evolution and growth of their business, reducing costs and increasing efficiency and flexibility when considering digital transformation. What's more, such a transition also benefits employee productivity," explains Johann Corlemeijer, Country Manager at Avanade Belgium. "Innovation, efficiency and (customer) experience are the three factors on which Avanade focuses for every successful digital transformation. Companies differ and each company faces different challenges. Our research shows that an optimal combination of these three building blocks leads to the best results."