You are either a digital disruptor or you are dinner. Your choice. And while there are myriad advantages to be seized by leaders brave or brilliant enough to embrace disruption, if you are not convinced, there are also plenty of insurgents more than capable of taking you back into the food chain.

Last week Harvey Nash APAC hosted 120 digital leaders for a forum based around the recognition that businesses either adapt or perish in an era of digital transformation.

Prior to the event we surveyed participants and my colleague, Anna Frazzetto, SVP and managing director of technology solutions for Harvey Nash, shared insights garnered from technology professionals about their digital plans for the year ahead and the types of digital trends they expected to encounter.

Among the highlights;

  • Lack of digital clarity poses a threat : Almost a third (31 percent) of technology professionals believe a lack of clarity in their organization’s digital strategy presents the most serious threat to the future success of their operations, while a lack of collaboration across their enterprise is a concern for 30 percent. A quarter of technology professionals (24 percent) believe a lack of investment puts digital success at risk. While budgets for digital activity have been rising steadily since 2012, the exponential growth in the use of digital data continues to put a strain on resources.
  • Digital talent remains in high demand : Almost half (48 percent) of respondents to the 2014 Digital Pulse Survey said a lack of digital strategy expertise was threatening their organization’s ability to grow, while a third (34 percent) warned of a shortage in quality business analysts with digital know-how. More technical digital skills like UX (33 percent) and developers (21 percent) see continued high levels of demand. One in five respondents (21 percent) are also seeking product managers with credible digital experience.
  • Investing for digital success, for now : A significant majority of technology professionals manage larger budgets today for their digital programs. Compared to 2012, almost three quarters (73 percent) have seen budget increases, and 67 percent received further budget growth in 2013. Boards appear to be content to continue their investment in digital success; however, a six percentage point drop year-on-year suggests the pace of budget growth may slow in the future.
  • Collaboration versus control of digital :Technology professionals may be enjoying increased budgets for digital programs, but they are not necessarily in full control of those budgets. A confusing picture is emerging with less than one in ten IT leaders (9 percent) managing the digital budget, versus over a third of respondents (34 percent) where the Marketing team is responsible for investing bigger digital budgets.

Where collaboration between the IT and marketing teams defines digital spend, it is dominated by IT for 12 percent of respondents, whereas it is dominated by Marketing for twice that (24 percent). A clear 50/50 split in responsibility for the digital budget is a reality for 21 percent of technology professionals.

And here’s a final trend for all the sleep-deprived (let’s call them  “sleep-disrupted”) digital experts out there: 78 percent of respondents admitted to sleeping with their Smartphone within arms-reach of the bed; in fact, five percent sleep with it under their pillow.

Now that probably sounds all too familiar?

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