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Business leaders overestimating digital progress

Study shows perception gap over state of digital transformation among c-level executives

Business leaders overestimating digital progress
There is a clear ‘perception versus reality' gap emerging between different levels in organisations,says Srinivasan CR.

Many business leaders may believe their organisations are more advanced in their digital transformation than they actually are, according to a study by Tata Communications.

The study found that 41% of board members and 33% of C-level executives believe that they are leading their industry in adopting new technologies, in comparison to just 18% of directors and 14% of department heads.

The figures come for the ‘Cycle of Progress' report, which surveyed 1,600 business decision makers in ten countries including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"'The Cycle of Progress' sounds a warning call for businesses, with a clear ‘perception versus reality' gap emerging between different levels in organisations, as innovation gathers momentum," said Srinivasan CR, Chief Digital Officer, Tata Communications.

"This disparity highlights that directors and business unit heads must get better at informing the CEO of any challenges they are facing when rolling out new technologies such as IoT and AI. CEOs should ask their teams more probing questions and not get carried away by the digital transformation hype. This reality check will help businesses make the most of the latest technology innovations to deliver new customer experiences and reimagine how they operate."

The survey found that business leaders general expect good things from new technology, with respondents saying they expect a ‘significant' positive impact from IoT (48%), predictive analytics (43%) and AI (43%).

The study also suggests that business leaders in the West tend to have a less optimistic view on AI than their Eastern counterparts. For example, decision makers in Germany and the UK see AI as having little or negative impact (29% in both countries), whereas Indian decision makers see it as having a significant or slight positive impact (95%).

"Despite scaremongering by some that humans and robots can't co-exist, our study clearly demonstrates that business leaders are focused on the positive impact of technology innovation," continued Srinivasan CR. "And, while the AI hype machine may be rumbling into overdrive, it seems that currently businesses rate both IoT and predictive analytics as bigger drivers of digital transformation than the emerging uses of AI we hear so much about."

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