Infosys research: Less than a quarter of global enterprises think and act like digital natives


Infosys has released global research, The New Champions of Digital Disruption: Incumbent Organisations, that reveals that under a quarter of organisations surveyed, understand that commitment to digital is at the heart of true transformation. And, it is these organisations that are reaping rewards from digital disruption. 

According to the research, more than half of all respondents surveyed, rank focus on digital skillset as the most important factor in successful transformation, followed by senior leadership commitment and change management, implying the need for a conducive organisational culture.

Visionaries, Watchers and Explorers

The research identifies three clusters of respondents based on the business objectives behind their digital transformation initiatives.

  • Visionaries (22 percent) understand the potential of the digital revolution to completely transform their business 
  • Explorers (50 percent) commit to digital programs driven by the need to enhance customer experience 
  • Watchers (28 percent) see digital transformation through the prism of efficiency

True transformation begins from the core

While Watchers and Explorers are primarily focusing on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and 3D printing for digital transformation initiatives, Visionaries are not only looking at emerging technologies, but are also focusing strongly on core areas such as mainframe and ERP modernisation. 

Visionaries believe that true transformation comes from the core and without this in the background, digital technologies will not perform to their potential. The study reflects that their commitment to modernizing from the core will yield benefits, such as improved productivity and efficiencies. 

Agility in championing digital disruption

Visionaries watch and explore futuristic trends which currently escape the notice of the other two cohorts. They boast of increased clarity on opportunities and threats of digital disruption over Explorer and Watchers, as well as an increased ability to execute on them.

Visionaries look further into the future. They attach a higher rating to the impact of market drivers such as Emerging Technologies (86 percent Visionaries vs 63 percent Explorers, 50 percent Watchers) and Changing Ecosystems (63 percent vs 39 percent, 31 percent) – enabling them to be agile and disruptive.

Lack of digital skill set – greatest barrier 

When ranking barriers on the path to digitisation, building digital skill sets was found to be the most prevalent (54 percent) challenge for organizations, highlighting the lack of digital skill set available.

Transforming from a low risk organisation to an organisation that rewards experimentation (43 percent) and lack of change management (43 percent) were the second and third greatest barriers, showcasing the turbulence and resistance to change associated with digital transformation.

The importance of establishing an ecosystem

Building in-house capabilities was on the list of 76 percent of Visionaries, who were keen on acquiring digital native firms, to quickly gain the digital skills that 71 percent of the Visionaries believed were lacking in-house. Thereby, showcasing the increasing trend towards acquisitions and development of a sustainable ecosystem. Comparatively, the proportion of Explorers and Watchers looking at the acquisition and ecosystem options was negligible.

Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer, Infosys, said, “Navigating the digital disruption requires companies to drive a holistic approach to transformation and foster a digital culture that brings together leadership commitment and a renewed approach to skill building. Infosys with its long standing partnerships with global corporations is focused on accelerating their digital transformation journey from their core systems while building new capability to drive competitive advantage.” 

Overcoming barriers to digital transformation 

Enterprises are relying on their transformation partners to help them scale barriers. Preparing workforce for digital transformation and developing strong capability in managing large organisational change have emerged as top strategies to overcome these barriers. This is especially critical to Visionaries who are aiming to transform business culture. 


Infosys commissioned independent market research company Feedback Business Consulting to undertake a study to understand the decision-making processes and challenges around the digital transformation journey businesses embark on. From March to April 2018, the qualitative and quantitative subset of the study was carried out, interviewing over 1,000 respondents senior management level executives who have a role in digital transformation initiatives. Respondents were from organisations with 5,000 employees or more and $1 billion global annual revenue. Overall, the respondents represented 11 industry groups from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US.

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