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Couchbase Research Reveals a Majority of Organizations Expect to Fail in Four Years if Digital Transformation Approach Is Unsuccessful

Despite spending millions of dollars on digital transformation in the past year, enterprises still feel they are at significant risk of being left behind by their industries, research from Couchbase shows. In the survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises across the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany, 80 percent are at risk of being left behind by digital transformation while 54 percent believe organizations that don’t keep up with digital transformation will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor within four years. And IT leaders are also at risk, with 73 percent believing they could be fired as the result of a poorly implemented or failing digital project.

Other findings include:

  • 89 percent of enterprises say their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption is only a matter of time, even after spending an average of $5.7 million on digital transformation in the past year
  • Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation – 95 percent say that it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience
  • While 80 percent of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organization’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 percent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements
  • Databases are currently a clear handicap to this improvement – 84 percent have had digital projects cancelled, delayed, or reduced in scope because of the limitations of their legacy database

Our study puts a spotlight on the harsh reality that despite allocating millions of dollars towards digital transformation projects, most companies are only seeing marginal returns and realizing this trajectory won’t enable them to compete effectively in the future,” said Matt Cain, CEO of Couchbase. “With 87 percent of IT leaders concerned that their revenue will drop if they don’t significantly improve their customers’ experiences, it’s critical that they focus on projects designed to increase customer engagement. Key to succeeding here is selecting the right underlying database technology that can leverage dynamic data to its full potential across any platform and deliver the personal, highly responsive experiences that customers are demanding today.”

Factors Affecting Digital Transformation

Ninety percent of IT leaders said their plans to use data for new digital services were limited by factors such as the complexity of using multiple technologies or a lack of resources, as well as reliance on legacy database technology.

Survey respondents identified specific issues with legacy databases that could lead to digital projects under performing:

  • 86 percent cited a lack of agility when developing new applications
  • 61 percent were unable to scale applications to suit demand
  • Enterprises have to wait an average of 28 hours before their databases could take advantage of data, which makes real-time data use an unattainable goal
  • Only 19 percent believe their current database would be up to the task of supporting modern technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and Internet of Things

Historically, some enterprises haven’t done well at using data to improve customer experience, which is why digitally native companies have made some giant inroads in traditionally brick & mortar businesses,” said John A. De Goes, CTO of SlamData Inc. “If all enterprises want to thrive, they need the confidence, ability, and technology to reinvigorate the customer experience. They need a revolution in the way they use data, to transform the customer experience and provide a data-driven way of truly engaging with end-users.”

Enter the Engagement Database

Legacy databases cannot keep pace with customers’ increasing demand for real-time services and content, and the growth of technology such as virtual and augmented reality or the Internet of Things. The Engagement Database, part of the open source Couchbase Data Platform, is a new category of database that enables enterprises to continually create and reinvent the customer experience. Unlike traditional databases, the Engagement Database taps into dynamic data to liberate its full potential at a time when the strategic use of data to create exceptional customer experiences has become a key competitive differentiator for businesses. For more information, visit the executive summary and view the infographic.

About the Study

Couchbase commissioned an online survey from Vanson Bourne, an independent market research organization, of 450 heads of digital transformation, including CIOs, CTOs, and Chief Digital Officers, in organizations with 1,000 employees or more in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany. The study was conducted in May and June 2017.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    I have a bunch of thoughts on this…

    “89 percent of enterprises say their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption…”
    – nothing new here, technology and will continue to change the way we do business” •
    “Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation – 95 percent say that it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience”
    – It would be more interesting to see how the original question was phrased. Does this mean unique approach to service within a particular industry vertical or does it mean truly unique customer experience in the service channel for each customer? Depending on the answer I would have to say that I generally disagree with this conclusion, but it’s all dependent on the question asked.

    “ While 80 percent of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organization’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 percent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements”
    – Nothing new here either. The people making decisions typically listen to the slick sales presentations that rarely take into account the true complexities of even a moderate sized business. This results in schedule slips, budget overruns and disappointment over unrealized expectations. I would say though that projects designed to provide incremental solutions while migrating to new technology will have a higher success rate. This is due to managed expectations and results that are immediately useful even if they are somewhat limited.

    “ Databases are currently a clear handicap to this improvement – 84 percent have had digital projects cancelled, delayed, or reduced in scope because of the limitations of their legacy database”
    – Very true in my experience. The drivers though are $$. DB’s tend to be tied into everything so changing them affects the entire organization. DB changes typically only happen for two reasons. The first by companies flush with cash that are willing to have ongoing IT projects that exploit the newest technologies. The second is when a DB product is EOL, thus forcing the change.

    “ 86 percent cited a lack of agility when developing new applications”
    – This is an indictment of how poorly companies are organized across the board. Agility is a mindset, you have it or you don’t.

    “ Enterprises have to wait an average of 28 hours before their databases could take advantage of data, which makes real-time data use an unattainable goal”
    – The focus here is really understanding what is actionable in less than 24 hours. If an automotive company suddenly saw an uptick in the number of issues with an ignition switch, could they do anything about it in less than 24 hours? OTOH, if you are monitoring social media feeds and there is a trend of some sort you could try to head it off, but again this is dependent on the mind set of the company. If a decision requires meetings of Cxx’s and legal teams, then you can kiss the actionability of that data good bye. The United Airlines debacle earlier this year is a prime example of that. I would argue that most data needs are not real-time(outside of things like sensor data). Most are near real-time at best.

    “ Only 19 percent believe their current database would be up to the task of supporting modern technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and Internet of Things”
    – virtual reality and augmented reality are new enough that any IT initiative around then would need R&D for most companies. Why spend the time and money on trying to productize a VR/AR approach when the technology is too new. IOT though is a bit different. IOT tends to produce lots of data that may need analysis at various levels in order to provide meaningful insight.

    “The Engagement Database, part of the open source Couchbase Data Platform, is a new category of database that enables enterprises to continually create and reinvent the customer experience”
    – I would categorically reject the notion that consumers want their user experiences “reinvented” on a regular basis.

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