15 Key Stats from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index
by Daniel Newman | July 9, 2018

Curious where your company stands when it comes to digital transformation? The 2018 Digital Transformation Index can help. We recently released the most comprehensive report of its kind on digital technology adoption among business organizations. The Index can serve as your company’s benchmark in digital transformation, noting both progress and obstacles impacting more than 1,000 North American and Western European companies. Below, I’ll share 15 key stats from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index. I encourage you to download and share the full report for even more detailed analysis.

Key Stats from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index

  1. Good news: 76.6 percent of companies describe their relationship with technology and digital transformation as generally average or above average. (The bad news is that the rest are slow adopters and laggards—and with that, not likely to last in the digital age). Where would your company fall?
  2. Most are OK with change. Nearly 65 percent of companies feel positive about their ability to adapt to technological disruption in the next 3 years. That’s pretty good, considering how much disruption is ahead of us.
  3. CEOs are doing well. Some 70 percent of companies consider their CEOs’ practical understanding of new technologies to be adequate or above average. How does yours rank?
  4. IT, Customer Service, and Marketing are doing it best. Perhaps not surprisingly, these departments are adopting tech faster than those like HR, finance, and legal. Still, all need to get on the same page for maximum effectiveness.
  5. They’re not (too) afraid of disruption. Just over 50 percent of companies expressed a positive outlook when asked about technology disruption. Sure, 25 percent felt it was a threat to survival. (Note how that number correlates to the number of slow adopters and laggards in No. 1).
  6. They’re prepared(-ish.) Just over 40 percent of companies report having a dedicated digital transformation team in place. Of all the key stats from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index that I’m sharing, this one worries me the most. Being prepared is critical for success.
  7. It isn’t killing (as many) jobs as expected. In fact, 37 percent said digital transformation helped them create new jobs, and another 30 percent said it had no change at all.
  8. The leaders are leading. Well over half report that senior executives (C-level other than the CEO) are actively leading their company’s digital transformation efforts, and nearly 50 percent said efforts are being led by CEOs or Board members.
  9. Except when they’re not. About 7 percent of respondents weren’t able to name someone in charge of their company’s digital transformation efforts. (Note to self: don’t let this be you.)
  10. Maybe it’s because they’re confused. Nearly 20 percent said their company’s leadership isn’t sure what to do when it comes to digital transformation. (I’d say they should start by reading this report.)
  11. Budget is no longer a good excuse for lagging. When asked which factors contributed the most to their organization’s effective execution digital transformation strategy, more than 50 percent pointed to their access to great technology partners; nearly 50 percent said company culture; and less than 40 percent pointed to adequate budget. I’ve talked before about the importance of culture and digital ecosystem in creating agility and transformation. It’s all proven here.
  12. Instead, they blame the CEO. Perhaps as it should be: when it comes to obstacles to digital transformation, the top contender was the CEO at more than 35 percent. On the converse: more than 34 percent say nothing is holding their company back. That’s a huge positive in today’s rapidly changing market.
  13. There’s more room for partnership. Less than 30 percent of the organizations’ technology vendors are currently active partners in their digital transformation initiatives. Talk about an empty digital ecosystem! In today’s environment, companies need to be partnering up constantly to take advantage of knowledge and growth ideas. This is a huge opportunity for growth when it comes to digital transformation, no matter what company you’re in.T
  14. Titles aren’t everything. More than 15 percent of companies in our study reported that their own Chief Technical Officer had only basic to no knowledge of digital technologies at all. Hmm. This is where the CEO and HR come into the picture. It’s OK to hire someone else to lead the charge—but at the end of the day, leadership need to know what to look for in the right transformational candidates. Otherwise, it’s the blind leading the blind.
  15. Most companies are capable of change. From what we gathered, 2 out of every 3 companies appear to be generally capable of adapting to technology disruption inside of three years. That’s huge, right? It means even if you’re a little slow on the uptake right now, you might be capable of bigger and better, especially if you have the right culture, partners, and leadership at the helm.

In an age when technology is changing by the second, it’s imperative that companies understand where they fall on the digital transformation spectrum. Falling a little behind now could leave you lagging—or disappeared—in the future. Take the time to know where you stand. Make an honest assessment of your strengths and needs. Let these 15 key stats from the 2018 Digital Transformation Index be a jumpstart to your plan.

Daniel Newman