How does Italy differ from the rest of the world when it comes to digitalization?
A study conducted by Fujitsu, as part of its Digital Transformation PACT project, surveyed 190 leading businesses in the Retail sector and revealed some interesting differences. Globally, Retail is struggling to achieve tangible results, but in Italy the trend seems different: 65% of respondents claim they are happy with the investments made in this “digital” transformation.
The study centres around four factors deemed crucial for a successful digital transformation – People, Actions, Collaboration and Technology – and what emerges from the Italian Retail landscape is a Culture of innovation. Specifically, 41% of Retailers are convinced that the most important factor is skills, therefore People, while 18% believe it’s Technology.
These findings are different at the global level, where 18% of respondents would invest in Actions and only 24% in People.
In Italy, 60% of surveyed organisations describe their own digital skills as inadequate and thus rely on external consultants, firms or start-ups (in 78% of cases) to develop tailored training programs for them.
The co-creation of Digital Transformation processes is also perceived differently in Italy compared to abroad: globally, Retailers are mostly averse to this possibility, while in Italy 30% of respondents view it favourably, and 90% of those are already experimenting with new business models.
Another difference between Italy and the rest of the world is that, in our country, over 70% of respondents think that too much emphasis is being placed on change, and too little on the skills and actions required to support such change.
Furthermore, while 47% of Italian Retailers are investing in Internet of Things systems, 82% are worried about their ability to adjust to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.
In Italy, 64% of respondents claim to have already implemented projects related to digital transformation, compared to only 35% worldwide. 52% of Italian Retailers are already turning to digitalization to transform their Customer Relations. But how, exactly, is “digital transformation” understood by companies? For 53% it means transforming a company’s revenue and business models; for 12% it means creating new digital business processes.
About half of the Retailers surveyed in Italy (47%) believe that the main impulse towards Digitalization comes from the Customers themselves, since customers – according to 88% of the sample – have high expectations regarding companies’ degree of evolution. However, 70% feel that this process leads to an increase in competition, and 88% of respondents believe it’s impossible for them to properly identify or predict who their competitors will be five years from now.
And what are the tools being used? The technologies deemed most crucial for companies’ financial success over the next ten years are cloud computing, big data analytics and artificial intelligence; the last two, together with cybersecurity, are also considered essential for growth, but mainly in terms of in-house skills and process optimisation.
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