2023 Foundry Digital Business research reveals the status of where organizations are in their digital-first transformation.

Boston, Mass. – April 27, 2023 – Foundry released today its 4th annual Digital Business research, which surveyed 898 IT decision-makers (ITDMs) in North America (60%), APAC (22%), and EMEA (17%) to gain a better understanding of where organizations are in their journey towards becoming a “digital-first” business. Foundry defines “digital-first” as approaching any new opportunity, or problem, with the assumption that the solution should be as digital as possible.

ITDMs focus on improving security & customer experiences as digital-first objectives

This year’s study found that digital business transformation efforts have accelerated among organizations, as 93% said they have adopted or have plans to adopt, a digital-first business strategy. This number has increased slightly from 91% the last time Foundry ran the survey in 2021. This number increases to 99% for those in the financial services industry and to 95% for companies with more than 1,000 employees.

When asked what their top objectives are for their organization’s digital business strategy, IT leaders ranked wanting to improve employee productivity/collaboration as their top objective (51%). This is up from the eighth-ranked objective when the survey ran in 2019 and up 7 percentage points from 2021 (44%). Following right behind, the second digital objective is to reduce costs/inefficiencies with 50% selecting this objective, which made a big jump from only 38% selecting it in 2021, perhaps speaking to the current economic climate.

Creating better customer experiences, so that they can keep up with expectations, is ranked as the third most important objective at 45%. When ITDMs were asked if customer experiences have become a priority for their organization over the past 12 months, 67% agreed with the statement – this number increases to 71% for companies with more than 1,000 employees. Enabling business agility/resiliency (41%) and improving security (40%) are also top objectives for IT decision-makers this year.

When it comes to achieving these objectives, ITDMs say that they are further along with some of them than they expected – improving security being their #1. Just under 40% of those surveyed believe that security is the most important step for success in digital transformation. This is not surprising as cybersecurity risks have heightened in the past year, particularly with increased global tensions. When ITDMs were asked about the progress they’ve made on their data security strategies, 93% said they were either planning (23%) one, had one in development (41%) or have completed (29%) a data security strategy at their organization.

IT leaders are exploring AI and other emerging technology to assist with their digital strategies

In order to get their digital transformation underway, and meet these objectives, organizations are looking to several new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML.) These tools, as we’ve seen with the new generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, have the potential to automate everything from business processes to written content creation. This year’s survey found that generative AI is among the top five emerging technologies that IT decision-makers are investing in this year, along with AI engineering, cloud-native platforms, cybersecurity mesh, and decision intelligence.

“According to IDC Research, the worldwide economic impact of generative AI across all lines of business functions, by the end of 2033 will be close to $10 trillion,” says Ritu Jyoti, Group Vice President, AI and Automation Market Research and Advisory at IDC. “The impact will encompass increased revenue, lowered expenses, and improved productivity.”

Nearly a third of IT leaders surveyed (32%) have AI and machine learning on their radar or are actively researching them, while 20% are in the piloting stage, and 16% already use these tools. Augmented and virtual reality, 5G, bots and edge computing are also among the top five technologies that organizations are actively researching to further their digital-first strategies.

To learn more about this year’s Digital Business Study, download the executive summary here. To learn more about how Foundry engages with tech decision-makers researching and investing in digital initiatives, contact us.

About 2023 Digital Business Study

Foundry’s 2023 Digital Business Study was conducted among the audiences of Foundry brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World) representing IT decision-makers within organizations that have plans to adopt/or have already launched a digital-first approach. The survey was fielded online with the objective to gain a better understanding of where organizations are in their digital journey. Results in this release are based on 898 global respondents across multiple industries.

About Foundry, an IDG, Inc. company

Foundry has played a key role in every major milestone, announcement, and development in modern technology since 1964. Today, Foundry continues to lead in the technology space by helping companies bring their visions to reality through a combination of media, marketing technologies and proprietary data. Our intent data and martech platforms are powered by data from an owned and operated ecosystem of global editorial brands, awards, and events, all engineered and integrated to drive marketing campaigns for technology companies. Foundry is dedicated to generating and innovating with data, driving demand for technology marketers with 38 offices in markets around the globe. Foundry is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group, Inc. (IDG), the world’s leading market intelligence and demand generation company focused on the technology industry. To learn more about Foundry, visit foundryco.com.