Half of companies have stalled digital transformation, study finds

Researchers pinpointed five main points of failure for digital transformation plans.
By Diana Manos
11:28 AM
digital transformation

Digital transformation is a business-wide challenge, and many large organizations are struggling with it. That’s as true in healthcare as it is in other industries.  

More than half (51 percent) of the organizations surveyed for a new report, in fact, were stalled in either the planning or the implementation stages or had abandoned their IT projects altogether, according to a survey titled, “The Challenge of Change: IT in Transition,” commissioned by Insight Enterprises, Inc.


For the study, researchers surveyed 200 IT executives working in organizations with a median of 6,250 employees across a wide range of industries, and they discovered that most are still in the early stages of digital transformation. This included 65 percent of enterprises with more than 10,000 employees.

Implementing change across multiple legacy systems is one of the major sources of pain, the study found, with 64 percent citing legacy IT infrastructure, processes and tools as one of the top five barriers to transformation. Other barriers included: data security (60 percent), technology silos (59 percent), budget (54 percent) and competing priorities (53 percent).

The survey also found that organizations faced challenges in cloud strategy planning and execution.


The healthcare industry is poised to leap forward in terms of technological change. A March 2017 survey by IDC, for instance, showed that while only 10 percent of providers and payers were actively executing digital transformation initiatives that number is expected to reach 42 percent among providers by the end of this year. Fifty-eight percent of payers will be undergoing digital transformation in the same time, the study found.

What’s more, a new Black Book survey determined that recent uptake of physician practices by hospital systems has led to a tangled mess of various technology platforms, making it difficult to achieve value-based care goals. Eighty-five percent of IDN executives surveyed said alignment of hospital and physician IT will be critical.


Insight Enterprises, for its part, said having a roadmap is a key to success, and the new study pinpointed five causes for failure in that category:

  1. 15 percent of organizations wanted to make a transformation, but hadn’t even begun discussing it
  2. 62 percent failed to document and communicate the IT transformation plan across the organization
  3. 39 percent failed to create the culture of change (through documentation and communication) required for success
  4. 18 percent communicated their vision but failed to document it, leaving them with no blueprint for implementation
  5. 5 percent had neither documented nor communicated their road map


In the next three years, hospitals will invest in population health management, customer relationship management, IT infrastructure and operations management, data archiving, back and recovery, all followed by pharmacy workflow systems and cloud infrastructure computing.

HIMSS Analytics, in a state of the health IT market report during October, said hospitals are accelerating beyond the EMR and moving toward cloud computing, telehealth, interoperability, secure data and infrastructure, precision medicine and more — all of which require overcoming common obstacles to digital transformation.

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