The Inevitable ‘Digital Transformation’ Backlash

Nearly 58% of respondents to this year’s study thought suppliers were creating too much hype around ‘digitisation’ and ‘digital transformation’.Digital Transformation has memed its way into the bloodstream of modern business discourse, but is increasingly viewed as an effort by vendors to refactor their flagging relevance. Stuart Lauchlan reports on recent feedback from users to SAP. They aren’t buying the hype:

Over-hyped and under-led – SAP users rebel over digital transformation

An unambiguous shot across the bows from Philip Adams, Chairman of the UK and Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), in Birmingham today upon the release of a survey of user attitudes.

These surveys have become a regular feature of the opening keynote sessions at UKISUG conferences with SAP executives often not typically briefed on their results until the morning of release. (This year they got a few days notice.)

This year’s theme was digital transformation, with the uncomfortable conclusion for SAP – and a lot of other providers, you know who you are! – that users are fed up of the hype cycles around new technologies and just want some sensible, solid, down-to-earth guidance.

Nearly 58% of respondents to this year’s study thought suppliers were creating too much hype around ‘digitisation’ and ‘digital transformation’.

It also seems that users are increasingly conscious and dismissive of vendors attempts at refactoring their product offerings, a phenomenon most recently seen perhaps in the attempts at ‘cloud washing’ across the industry.

This long-standing and downright Orwellian – “We have always been at war with Eurasia” – practice means that 80% of respondents are now sufficiently cynical as to assume that digitilisation is just a repackaging exercise by legacy vendors in search of relevance.

This is exactly why Larry Hawes will be making the ‘business of digital transformation’ a key part of his — and Gigaom’s — research agenda in 2016. More to follow.