Indian enterprises ahead of global peers in digital initiatives: Infosys study

Indian enterprises ahead of global peers in digital initiatives: Infosys study
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23 Jan, 2020

A study measuring companies’ progress in terms of digital initiatives showed that Indian enterprises are ahead of their global peers. The results from the survey conducted by information technology services firm Infosys also gave India a high ranking in terms of digital maturity.

The country’s digital maturity index was 71.4, whereas the global average was only 62.3, the study said. Compared to the rest of the world, India excelled in cybersecurity and APIs (application programming interfaces), with the country scoring 60% against the 51% global average, it said.

The global study by Infosys’ thought leadership and research arm Knowledge Institute called the Digital Radar 2020 measured companies’ progress against 22 digital initiatives, the Bengaluru-based software exporter said. The company attributed India’s strong show to the high representation in the digitally-strong high-technology sector in the country.

Infosys said that the top drivers for companies in India in achieving digital maturity are quick response to changing and improving efficiency (78%), while risk aversion is holding the country back from doing better.

The report, which surveyed over 1,000 executives globally, ranked the most digitally advanced companies as “visionaries”, followed by “explorers” and then “watchers”. In India, 38% of companies fell in the ‘visionaries’ category.

According to the study, only some companies have progressed to the most advanced stages of digital transformation as they hit a digital ceiling this year. Firms that centre their transformation initiatives around customers and employees achieve the highest levels of digital maturity, it said. It added that only a change in mindset can help them achieve a higher level of digital maturity as the human, not technological barriers, were found to be the top hurdle.

“We have seen enterprises successfully employ emerging technologies to optimise productivity and efficiency, but struggle at the next stage of digital maturity. Companies that design digital initiatives to improve customer experiences and empower their employees, differentiate themselves and propel their business to the most advanced levels of progress,” Salil Parekh, CEO of Infosys, said.

Over the past 12 months, there was an 18% increase in companies progressing from the lowest tier of watchers to the middle ‘explorers’ tier, Infosys said. However, the ‘explorers’ struggled to move into the top ‘visionaries’ cluster, with the top tier remaining the same, indicating a digital ceiling to transformation efforts, Infosys said. 

In the ‘visionaries’ cluster, the companies were far ahead of others in digital initiatives that were tied to quick cycles, with 75% operating at scale in agile and DevOps, compared with an overall average of 34% for the entire survey group, the study found. Technology and telecom industries continued to rank highest on the digital maturity index this year with consumer packaged goods, logistics and healthcare achieving strong year-on-year improvements.

According to the survey, the digital ceiling was most dramatic in China, where 23% of companies moved from ‘watchers’ to ‘explorers’ (which rose from 64% to 87%), but the percentage in the ‘visionaries’ category (8%) remained the same.

“The traditional programme models are not keeping up with the rapid pace of market change and companies face a distinct barrier in reaching top levels of digital maturity. Successful businesses have an employee focus and a circular transformation mindset, which enable top performers to kick off a virtuous cycle in the company,” Jeff Kavanaugh, vice president and global head at Infosys Knowledge Institute, said.