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Digital transformation - Statistics & Facts

Digital transformation (DX), broadly defined, is the integration of digital technologies in all areas of a business, improving current and creating new operation processes, as well as deliver more value to customers. It represents a cultural shift to more agile and more intelligent ways of doing business, powered by technologies such as advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Companies’ efforts to transform digitally have largely begun, and are going broader and deeper - by 2023, digitally transformed organizations are forecast to contribute to more than half of global GDP.

COVID-19 impact on digital transformation

In 2020, projections suggest that worldwide spending on digital transformation will reach 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, growing 10.4 percent year-on-year – a compromised and yet still strong growth despite the economic recession caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic has in fact highlighted businesses’ need to increase operational efficiency and improve customer experience – both of which are major goals of digital transformation initiatives - as they are the deciding factors that influence a company’s fate in a time of economic difficulty. No wonder CIOs’ top priority from CEOs is to lead digital transformation activities for the preservation of businesses through the current disruption.

Challenges and solutions

The implementation of digital transformation projects is not always smooth – in fact, most such initiatives experience some sort of loss of momentum at different stages. Most challenges encountered in digital transformation center around issues of strategy, communication, culture, and talent. The most important factors deciding the success of digital transformation are to have a clear business strategy, as well as a strong commitment to carry it out. Going digital means far more than just adopting certain innovative technologies; it is about the reinvention of business in the digital age. Each company needs to define its own objectives and decide on its unique approaches.

Workforce transformation

On top of having the right digital strategy and the determination to push it through, executives also need to get the employees onboard with the game, particularly as they are the ones most impacted by it. Digital transformation means workforce transformation: the use of innovative technologies like AI help improve an employee’s productivity and efficiency, and move them on to new roles. The utilization of cloud computing services and digital collaboration tools also enables more forms of work such as remote working, which was made a necessity by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Technology adoption

Undoubtedly, digital technologies play an indispensable role in digital transformation. Spending on information communication technologies (ICT) reached 4.92 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019 and is projected to grow to 5.82 trillion by 2023. Cloud, AI, advanced analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) are among the most important and most adopted technological innovations leading companies’ digital transformation endeavors. In the manufacturing sector, the above-mentioned technologies, among others, enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which makes factories and machines smarter and more connected, improving productivity and efficiency. 3D printing, the technology that allows for the construction of a three-dimensional object from a digital 3D model, is also becoming widely adopted in manufacturing. It can produce complex objects fast and at low cost, offering much greater flexibility and adaptability to the production process.

Looking ahead

Better ways of doing business are needed at any time; they are necessary, however, in times of great challenge. Today’s world is driven by technology, and companies need to choose, whether they are to rise the tide or to be pushed by it.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 51 most important statistics relating to "Digital transformation".

Digital transformation

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Important key figures

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Drivers and challenges

Impact on workforce

Information communication technology (ICT)

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