Half of organisations lack digitally literate leadership, survey shows

ISACA survey shows 47% of IT professionals not confident that executives understand technology

Tags: Digital transformationISACA Information Systems Audit and Control Association (www.isaca.org)
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Half of organisations lack digitally literate leadership, survey shows Only 53% of IT professionals believe their organisation's leaders are capable of understanding the path to digital transformation.
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 17, 2017

Almost half of all IT professionals are not confident that their organisation's leadership is digitally literate, according to survey from ISACA.

Forty-seven percent of business technology pros either don't think their business leaders have a solid understanding of technology and its impacts, or are unsure, according to the latest Digital Transformation Barometer. Only 53% of respondents felt that their leadership is digitally literate.

In addition, only one quarter of leaders (23%) are very receptive to emerging technologies, compared to 17% who are not very receptive to new tech and 7% who are not at all receptive. Half were rated moderately receptive.

The Digital Transformation Barometer data delves into digital transformation and digital literacy within leadership, as well as emerging and disruptive technologies, through surveying over 4,000 IT, security and business executives in range of industries and organisation sizes around the globe.

"With this research, ISACA's global membership provides a digital transformation reality check that assesses actual technology adoption plans, levels of sentiment of support and concern, and monetary commitments to deploy emerging technology by geography and industry," said ISACA CEO Matt Loeb, CGEIT, CAE. "The resounding message from our research is clear: senior leadership needs to invest in increasing its digital fluency. Organisations with digitally fluent leadership are more clearly recognizing the benefits and risks of emerging technologies."

The report also suggests that challenges with digital literacy and receptivity to adopting emerging technology are not limited to the C-suite. Broader organisational challenges and cultural resistance play a role in the process of deploying certain digital transformation technologies.

Almost half of global respondents anticipate facing organisational challenges or resistance when deploying AI/machine learning/cognitive tech (49%), public cloud (48%), and Internet of Things (46%), and roughly a third of respondents anticipate the same kind of resistance when deploying blockchain (34%) or big data analytics (31%).

The survey also showed differences in receptiveness for new technologies between industries and regions.

"Emerging technologies have to be embraced," said Loeb. "As the research shows, the reluctance to deploy them is linked to the need to understand and mitigate the risks of doing so. Organizations that implement a strong information and technology governance program will better understand their capabilities, which leads to more effective risk management and increased confidence in deployment of these technologies."

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