Just 7% of businesses say they are meeting or exceeding their digital transformation targets according to a report from CI&T, a global digital specialist, produced in collaboration with the Global CxO Institute.

The research report, ‘Accelerating Digital Efficiency With The AI Multiplier’, explores the efficiency imperative based on survey responses from 100 digital business leaders across European enterprises.

The failure of many to hit their targets comes even though technology budgets are on the up. Nearly six in ten (59%) organisations say budgets increased in 2023 and more investment is coming in 2024 – two-thirds of businesses are set to increase their investments by at least 10% next year.

But, whilst investment is increasing, so too is the pressure to achieve results when it comes to operational improvements and financial returns.

To maximise their budget potential, an overwhelming majority (91%) of businesses recognise they must improve efficiency across the whole of their technology operations.

The top five areas where they believe efficiencies must be made are:

  1. IT and data strategies
  2. Data management
  3. Customer operations and service platforms
  4. Cyber security
  5. Ecommerce and payment platforms

The research finds that AI, including generative AI, is considered the catalyst to efficiency improvements, with 80% of respondents expecting this technology to have a positive impact on their business.

And AI is already top of the agenda for many when it comes to investment. Three-quarters of businesses (76%) are already using generative AI or expect to do so in the next 12-18 months and almost one in ten (8%) describe widescale use across their organisation.

They see generative AI as making the largest contribution to organisational efficiencies in the following areas

  1. Technology architecture and platforms
  2. End user product features
  3. Organisational orchestration
  4. Innovation development
  5. Software development process

This for many is the first act of the introduction of AI into their business – looking inside the corporate walls to drive efficiency before venturing beyond to open up more opportunities.

Organisations are also starting to look at accelerating the speed of innovation to bring new products and services to market to support business growth. This is an area where AI and generative AI can have a real impact.

The top five areas where businesses are looking to achieve efficiency in innovation delivery are:

  1. Business case development/KPI setting
  2. Proposition development
  3. Service mapping and design
  4. Scaling a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to full release
  5. Scaling Proof of Concept to MVP

Ross Sleight, Chief Strategy Officer EMEA at CI&T:

“Digital transformation and the digitising of operations is fundamental to businesses today and requires consistent investment. It’s not just about the cost savings that these programmes bring but the broader pursuit of better performance through efficiency and speed.

What’s important is an alignment of the organisational priorities and a clear understanding of the value that can be achieved to set realistic goals, combined with the right skill sets, processes and people to deliver on this transformational journey.

With many turning to AI it’s important to recognise it isn’t a magic bullet. Relying on AI to deliver business efficiencies is like building your castle on sand. Without solid foundations, such as organisational efficiency, it won’t have a lasting impact on your organisation and any initial benefits will be quickly washed away.”

Research methodology

The in-depth research questioned 100 senior business leaders within digital and technology operations across France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, working for companies with revenues in excess of £100m per annum.

To learn more, visit www.ciandt.com/uk/en-gb/digital-efficiency.

About The Global CxO Institute

The Global CxO Institute is the world’s most significant community of senior IT Data, and security executives, providing them with a space to connect, network, discuss, and benchmark their most significant challenges through our series of events, digital boardrooms, and exclusive roundtables.

The Global CxO Institute offers our thought-leading industry partners a complete marketing solution, creating lasting relationships between our focused network of professionals from around the world and your organisation. Our unique end-user-driven marketing solution works for you continuously – through flagship and custom events, online content, and intelligence reports – ensuring that the benefits you receive are not limited to just a single event.

About CI&T

CI&T (NYSE:CINT) is a global hyper digital specialist, a partner in AI-powered digital transformation and efficiency for 150+ large enterprises and fast growth clients. As digital natives, CI&T brings a 28-year track record of accelerating business impact through complete and scalable digital solutions. With a global presence in nine countries and a nearshore delivery model, CI&T provides strategy, data science, design, and engineering, unlocking top-line growth, improving customer experience and driving operational efficiency. Recognised by Forrester as a Leader in Modern Application Development Services, CI&T is the Employer of Choice for more than 6,100 professionals.