As The U.S. Drops Out Of The Top 10 Most Innovative Countries This Year, Organizations Will Need Massive Assistance With Digital Transformation Efforts To Catch Up On A Global Scale
New alliantgroup report shows that the C-suite is moving quickly to bolster digital transformation efforts, investing in critical areas like innovation, R&D and technical talent- revealing key opportunities for IT consultants
HOUSTON, Sept. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- alliantgroup, a management consultancy strengthening American businesses through reinvestment in innovation and job growth, released its "Innovation, R&D & IT Hiring Trends Report," revealing that C-suite executives are taking the challenge to bolster digital transformation efforts seriously but need to ramp up quickly to maintain a competitive advantage.
The study, conducted online with YouGov, a neutral third-party research firm, uncovered not only C-suite sentiment when it comes to digital transformation projects, but also where the opportunities lie for IT consultants to partner with these organizations along their transformation journeys.
INNOVATION AND R&D INVESTMENT CAN NO LONGER BE SIDELINED
With the U.S. dropping out of the top 10 most innovative countries this year according to Bloomberg's 2021 Innovation Index, C-suite executives have quickly learned that investing in innovation can no longer be sidelined. In fact, 29% of those surveyed said that the U.S. is lagging behind other countries when it comes to embracing digital transformation, and one out of five (20%) said that the U.S. isn't embracing new technologies as aggressively as it should be compared to other countries. As the pandemic and scrambled supply chains only make things worse, organizations will need the expertise of IT consultants to bolster their digital transformation initiatives as they catch up on a global scale.
Research and development are critical for the U.S. to regain its top spot as the most innovative country. However, even as nearly 30% of C-suite executives reported having plans to invest in R&D over the next two years, companies too often disqualify themselves from taking full advantage of tax incentives like the R&D credit because of a lack of expertise in tax literacy. This reveals a glaring unmet need where digital transformation consultants can provide undeniable value, especially as more than one out of five C-suite executives (21%) cited leveraging more government support like tax credits to further innovate within their industry.
CUTTING THROUGH (AND JUMPING OVER) THE RED TAPE
In terms of motivation to embark on digital transformation projects, nearly half (46%) of C-suite executives understood that it was a necessity for their company to survive in the long-term. Despite this, efforts to execute hit a dead end as internal bureaucracies are too cumbersome to react. Even as 36% of C-suite executives surveyed cited the pandemic as having accelerated the need for digital transformation across most industries, 29% said it's actually hampered their organization's capacity for digital transformation and a third (33%) reported there, being too much red tape in order to successfully innovate. IT consultants can more easily side-step these internal challenges and enable companies to speed up their goals for digital transformation.
As the pandemic continues to apply pressure on the transition to digital, there's an alarming number of organizations who don't have plans for digital transformation where IT consultants can take the lead. To fill this gap, 38% of C-suite executives said they are prioritizing investment in vendors/third parties to implement/adopt new technologies and enable their digital transformation efforts over the next two years, and IT consultants should take advantage of this massive opportunity.
IT'S NO LONGER AN EMPLOYER'S MARKET
As the nation faces a historic worker shortage, not having the right technical talent will be a blow to many digital transformation initiatives. In fact, 42% of C-suite executives surveyed said access to more talent was the top action their organization will take to innovate, and 31% said not hiring the right talent was one of the biggest mistakes they made when undergoing a digital transformation project. Although 24% said they plan to invest in the community and/or STEM education programs to fill their technical talent pipeline, these hiring pushes will not be immediate and provide a critical window for IT consultancies to offer their own expertise.
In terms of top business priorities, nearly a quarter (24%) of C-Suite executives said that IT is the #1 department for digital transformation projects over the next 2 years. However, there is still a massive gap in existing internal technical resources. More nimble IT consultancies/third-party providers should immediately scale-up their technical expertise to effectively partner with companies as they kick their digital transformation projects into high gear.
RECRUITING MOVES BEYOND SUPERSTAR CITIES
The search for the right technical talent has expanded beyond superstar cities like New York and San Francisco. C-suite executives are now aligning their hiring priorities with larger migration trends in the U.S. following the shift to remote work. Respondents noted finding skilled talent as the number one area that will accelerate digital transformation at 42%, in addition to the top action of expanding tech talent recruiting to outside typical high-tech areas (e.g., San Francisco, New York, and Austin) at 30%. A quarter (25%) even reported opening up offices in these non-high-tech locations to support their initiatives, and IT consultancies would be smart to map their hiring to these areas as well.
Although C-suite executives are seeing the light when it comes to harnessing technical talent, it will take a critical shift in culture. More than a quarter (26%) said their company culture doesn't embrace change and 28% said they can't find the right technology and consulting partners. These internal challenges are ripe for talented IT and change management consultants to step in and better promote themselves as easing the process of digital transformation that can so often be met with resistance.
"Digital transformation is no longer an option – it's a must-have for organizations that want to compete in the post-pandemic economy," said Dhaval Jadav, CEO of alliantgroup. "Nearly half of C-suite executives understand that supporting digital transformation projects is critical for their companies to survive in the long-term. However, challenges from finding and keeping technical talent to choosing which technology to either procure or invest in–all while navigating internal bureaucracies–can kill digital transformation projects in their tracks. It's important that organizations have the right partners to help them avoid these potholes on their journey to both digitizing processes, redefining their cultures and adopting new technologies. We at alliantgroup work with clients of all sizes and industries, leveraging our business, organizational and technical expertise to help leapfrog the red tape and help realize organizations' digital transformation ambitions."
About alliantgroup alliantgroup is a management consulting company with a mission to strengthen American businesses through reinvestment in innovation and job growth. We educate businesses, the industry groups that serve them and the accounting firms that advise them on federal and state credits and incentives that are legislated by our government to keep the U.S. competitive in the global landscape. We are proud to have helped over 20,000 businesses claim nearly $13 billion in credits and incentives. alliantgroup is headquartered in Houston, Texas with additional offices located in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Irvine, Sacramento, Washington, D.C.; and Bristol and London in the U.K.
Methodology All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 101 U.S. adults who are C-level and senior-level non-IT employees at firms with at least 50 employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10 - 14 June 2021. The survey was carried out online.