A recent survey amongst global b2b companies found that the desire for competitive advantage is driving seven out of every ten digital transformation projects around the world. What’s more, well over 30% of businesses polled in the research think that failure to deliver digital transformation projects will actually result in them losing competitive advantage. They see threats coming from all angles, with over a third of companies citing existing competitors, new market entrants and low-cost international alternatives as being of key concern.
For b2b organisations, the challenges of modernising infrastructure and business processes are high on the corporate agenda. And with the need for businesses to optimise the quality of their customer experience, around 50% of companies believe that ecommerce should be at the heart of their transformation. The research reports that more than 60% of companies have a digital transformation strategy, but less than 5% have successfully delivered the project. This seems to indicate that currently there is a significant difference between what companies want to achieve and what they’re able to achieve.
When it comes to delivering successful transformation projects, according to the survey, legacy technology is a big problem for IT teams – while resistance to change within the business is also a critical issue that’s impacting on progress. Despite these challenges, nearly three quarters of businesses believe they’ll be selling all of their products online in the near future – and almost the same number said they would be prepared to sell direct to end users. Perhaps this is why digital b2b marketplaces are forecast to grow by over 30% in the next two years.
The b2b market traditionally lags behind its b2c relation in terms of adopting innovative practices or new technology – but it appears that b2b companies are embracing digital transformation in an attempt to dive competitive advantage. The research concludes that over 65% of b2b companies anticipate using the Internet of Things, Machine to Machine and virtual reality technologies to support automation across the customer engagement and sales processes.