News Release Details

51% of IT Transformation Initiatives Stalled by Planning, Execution Challenges

November 13, 2018

Insight-commissioned IDG survey reveals barriers to transformation progress

TEMPE, ARIZ.-- More than half of enterprises undertaking IT transformation initiatives have stalled or abandoned select projects while grappling with the complex personnel, process and technology changes required to modernize their IT operations and enhance their ability to support business needs, according to a new IDG Research Services survey commissioned by Insight Enterprises' Cloud + Data Center Transformation division.

The survey, "The Challenge of Change: IT in Transition," examined the state of the IT transformation journey, including where organizations stand on progress to date, barriers faced, cloud computing status and challenges, drivers in cloud versus on-premises decisions, and skills gaps encountered when meeting IT transformation goals. Respondents included 200 IT executives working in organizations with a median of 6,250 employees across a wide range of industries.

"The results of the IDG survey show that IT transformation is a business-wide challenge, and a majority of organizations are unsure how to map out their journey," said Steve Dodenhoff, president, Insight North America. "But there's plenty of opportunity to accelerate the business when organizations implement the right technology, skills and processes. Insight is uniquely positioned to help clients navigate the information overload, improve operational efficiency and optimize resource management."

The survey responses revealed:

44% of organizations haven't yet made process, operational and/or technology changes to support IT transformation initiatives, highlighting the large number of enterprises that are still in the very early stages of the transformation journey. In fact, 15% of respondents report transformation is "on our radar," but they haven't begun discussing strategy.

51% have stalled or abandoned portions of their IT transformation programs because of challenges faced while undertaking these projects. This includes 65% of enterprises with more than 10,000 employees, reflecting the complexities of implementing change across the disparate legacy technologies and distributed teams common for companies at that scale.

62% have failed to implement a strong foundation for transforming IT by both documenting and communicating their plan across the organization. 39% have documented but not shared their strategy, limiting the ability to create the culture of change required for success. 18% have communicated their vision but not documented it, leaving them with no blueprint for implementation. 5% have neither documented nor communicated their road map.

64% cite legacy IT infrastructure, processes and/or tools in their list of the top five barriers to transformation, followed by data security (60%), technology silos (59%), budget (54%) and competing priorities (53%). The budget component leads the list when barriers are considered individually, with 17% ranking financial resources as the No. 1 impediment.

The survey documented ongoing challenges in cloud strategy planning and execution, as well as a more mature transformation status for organizations using a hybrid cloud approach. These findings indicated:

72% rank determining which workloads should move to the cloud among their list of the four major hurdles to cloud implementation, nearly tied with the need for new tools to support and monitor cloud applications (70%), internal resistance to change (70%) and choosing cloud deployment models (69%). Workload choice is also the single most challenging issue, topping the list for 18% of respondents.

On average, only 42% of a given enterprise's applications are optimized to support cloud storage consumption, including both in-house and commercial programs. This lack of cloud readiness presents another obstacle in advancing cloud strategy.

75% say their organization has a "cloud-first" policy, but definitions differ. 45% define it as "cloud only" (all workloads move to the cloud) and 30% as "cloud priority"(cloud is the first choice with on-premises/hybrid cloud deployment as needed). The 25% who don't have a cloud-first policy cite security concerns as their top reason.

A hybrid cloud strategy appears to accelerate the IT transformation journey, with 63% of respondents reporting the most progress using a hybrid cloud approach. In contrast, only 23% of those with a cloud-only model and 14% of those lacking a cloud-first policy have made progress as measured by the initiation of enterprisewide IT-related changes.

"We know from firsthand experience with clients that IT transformation is challenging, and this survey bears out their most critical pain points," said Shawn O'Grady, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud + Data Center Transformation, Insight. "From the difficulty of deciding where to begin to the gap between strategy and execution, transformation requires a multi-step road map, deep culture change, and continual evaluation and adjustments spanning technology, processes and people. Our team of 700+ architects, engineers and consultants is dedicated to helping enterprises overcome these roadblocks in order to implement changes that will enhance agility, improve the customer experience, and contribute to their companies' bottom line."

The complete survey results are available at

About Insight

Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organizations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximize the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of Digital Innovation, Cloud + Data Center Transformation, Connected Workforce, and Supply Chain Optimization solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for tomorrow. From IT strategy and design to implementation and management, our 6,600+ employees help clients innovate and optimize their operations to run business smarter. Discover more at NSIT-M


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