Published On: Thu, Aug 10th, 2017

Survey: Caribbean companies still resistant to digital change

The main impediment to companies achieving digital success was resistance to change.

digital-unhappyBRIDGETOWN - Resistance to change is the single biggest impediment to companies achieving digital success, according to a new study.

The results of the second annual Harvey Nash/KPMG 2017 CIO Survey were presented recently at a Chief Information Officer (CIO) Forum at the Hilton Barbados Resort. More than 20 Caribbean companies participated in the global survey which was carried out among 4,500 respondents in 86 countries among. However, the KPMG Island Grouping (KIG) component specifically looked at the operations of close to 70 companies in nine countries.

Presenting a snap shot of responses from the KIG component, Manager of IT Advisory KPMG (Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean) Mariette Simmons-Browne said low budget was a major challenge facing IT professionals, who were generally pessimistic about an increase in their IT budgets over the next 12 months, with only 35 per cent of respondents expecting an increase.

However, the main impediment to companies achieving digital success was resistance to change, as cited by 63 per cent of KIG respondents. The global average was 43 per cent.

“When we talk about resistance to change we have to look at it from an external perspective as well as an internal perspective. Yes, we have a region where we respond slower to change, but also a lot of the time we find a lot of the resistance internal to the organization,” she said.

A whopping 68 per cent of respondents to the KIG survey also said weak ownership and support from the business was another major reason why IT projects failed in their organizations.

Other reasons cited were over-optimistic expectations; unclear objectives; poor governance or project management; lack of budget; external change in business/political/economic environment; lack of talent and overly complex systems.

The survey also showed that the majority of IT professionals –– 77 per cent –– continued to be concerned mostly with issues associated with organized cyber crime, insider activities, spammers, foreign powers and competitors while their directors were focused on achieving cost savings, increasing operational efficiencies, delivering consistent and stable IT performance, improving business processes and improving cyber security.

Only 12 per cent of companies taking part in the KIG component of the survey considered their IT strategies to be very effective, compared to 16 per cent who said their strategies were not effective and 72 per cent who considered their strategies to be moderately effective.

This was consistent with the global responses to the survey, which showed that 18 per cent of companies believed their digital strategies were very effective, 19 per cent, not very effective and 63 per cent, moderate.

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