Study reveals key barriers to digital transformation

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More than four in five (83%) British manufacturers now recognise digital transformation as a key objective. but face significant barriers according to new research by enterprise information management specialist, OpenText.

The research – commissioned by OpenText and carried out by Sapio Research – provides a snapshot of the current level of digital transformation and Industry 4.0 implementation across the UK manufacturing sector. It also highlights the key impediments facing organizations attempting to implement these technologies to counteract the impact of digital disruption.

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Encouragingly, 40% of UK manufacturers have already implemented Industry 4.0 initiatives, and almost half (47%) are undergoing the digital transformation. In fact, digital transformation is now being discussed at board-level in 84% of companies in the British manufacturing industry, while just over a quarter (26%) confirm that implementing digital transformation is a primary business objective for the boardroom.

Strong progress has been made to combat digital disruption with the implementation of digital transformation and Industry 4.0. While around 70% of UK-based businesses have had plans in place to counteract the impact of digital disruption for at least a year, 79% of organisations say digital disruption is still making an impact on their business. Almost half (47%) describe this impact as ‘major’.

Transforming business operations

Today UK businesses identify the following top three key business benefits of digital transformation: improved

improved decision making (33%),
nhanced connectivity (28%)
and greater business agility (28%).

In fact, Industry 4.0 and digital transformation are already changing the way UK organizations operate. Almost two-thirds (62%) have already moved towards digitization, while 60% are now using big data to provide insight.

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While UK manufacturers are making good progress when it comes digital transformation, significant barriers do exist:

  • Growing data volume: analyzing and handling the volume of data being generated, and acting upon it, is the most significant challenge (30%).
  • The skills gap: Two in five (40%) respondent find it difficult to recruit people with digital analytics skills compared to more traditional skills, such as design, engineering and maintenance. Additionally, 30% are struggling to recruit analytical decision makers
  • Political instability: Half (50%) believe Brexit is making it harder to justify an investment that is necessary to implement digital transformation.
  • Budget: more than a quarter (28%) find that the levels of investment required cause problems when attempting to adopt a digital-first approach, while almost a third (29%) are held back by an inability to prove ROI.


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