Despite spending millions of dollars on digital transformation efforts in the past year, executives at many organizations still say they believe they are at significant risk of being left behind by competitors, according to a new report by independent research firm Vanson Bourne.

The study, commissioned by database platform provider Couchbase, shows that 80 percent of the 450 heads of digital transformation surveyed this summer at enterprises in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany say they believe they are at risk of being left behind by digital transformation.

More than half (54 percent) believe organizations that don’t keep up with digital transformation will go out of business or be absorbed by a competitor within four years. And IT leaders are also at risk, with 73 percent saying they could be fired as the result of a poorly implemented or failing digital project.

Also See: Incoming Cleveland Clinic CIO looks to leverage disruptive technology

A large majority of those surveyed (89 percent) said their industry is either being disrupted by digital technology, or such disruption is only a matter of time. The organizations have spent an average of $5.7 million on digital transformation in the past year.

Respondents overwhelmingly agree on the ultimate goal of digital transformation, with 95 percent saying it should be giving customers and end-users a truly unique experience.

While 80 percent of IT leaders are under pressure to be constantly improving their organization’s customer experience through digital innovation, 90 percent of digital projects fail to meet expectations and only deliver incremental improvements.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.