Half of IT leaders hesitant on digital transformation, Citrix reveals

New research from Citrix reveals that nearly half (44 per cent) of UK IT decision makers are less confident in taking on digital transformation programmes due to negative past experiences.

Obtained through a study by Vitreous World, the data aimed to reveal the extent of which previous experiences impact willingness to take on new digital transformation programmes. 500 IT decision makers at large UK organisations (250+ employees) were polled.

Over half (51 per cent) revealed that they had been involved in previous digital transformation programmes that hadn’t gone to plan, with 85 per cent in agreement that these past experiences impacted how they approach programmes today. 58 per cent said that previous digital transformation programmes had been somewhat challenging, but nearly all (94 per cent) IT leaders stated that they had gone into their first digital transformation programme confident of its outcomes.

The study also indicates experiences may vary by seniority and ability to manage the associated challenges, as 35 per cent of CIOs and 41 per cent of CTOs cited past experiences as ‘ideal’.

“These new findings shed a bright light on how impactful digital transformation programmes can be for those that work on them — for good and bad,” said Mark Sweeney, regional VP, UK & Ireland, Citrix. 

“It’s encouraging to see that many have been involved with successful projects in the past, even if they didn’t always go to plan — and their importance to the business ensures they do not shy away from taking on new initiatives.”

Most leaders (97 per cent) linked the outcomes of digital transformation programmes with the success of their current role and future progression, while 99 per cent recognised digital transformation to be an important part of their business’ survival in the coming years.

Over two-thirds (68 per cent) also agreed that major digital transformation programmes represent a career-defining opportunity, with just seven per cent dismissing this to be the case. This is reflected by the fact that the majority (69 per cent) would rather work on a challenging and ambitious programme than a manageable but less aspiring project they believed was likely to succeed.

Just a quarter of leaders felt well supported by other departments, although this figure rised to 61 per cent when thinking about support from the leadership team.

“It is clear that working with the right partners and having adequate internal support is crucial for IT leaders to deliver successful outcomes from ambitious projects,” Sweeney added. “Although many have encountered challenges, it is important that decision makers trust the skills and technology at their disposal in order for businesses to reap the rewards of this new era of innovation we’re living in today.”

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Melissa Bradshaw

Melissa joined the Comms Business editorial team in January 2021. Following her role as editorial assistant within the Mark Allen Group division MA Music, Leisure & Travel since 2019, Melissa moved over to MA Business in October 2020 and now works as a reporter for two of Mark Allen’s business titles, Comms Business and The Engineer. She is working alongside our editor Charlotte Hathway, writing features and news for the magazine. To get in touch about potential features, contact her at melissa.bradshaw@markallengroup.com.

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