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Workday Global Survey: Finance, HR, and IT Leaders Reveal Top Barriers to Digital Transformation Post-Pandemic

Workday, Inc., a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, published the results of its latest digital transformation survey, which examines the impacts of the global pandemic on organizations’ digital transformation efforts across three critical business functions: finance, human resources (HR), and information technology (IT).

In the report, “Closing the Acceleration Gap: Toward Sustainable Digital Transformation,” Workday surveyed 1,150 global senior business leaders to understand the pace of digital transformation over the course of the past two years and the biggest barriers to success. The findings revealed that while finance, HR, and IT leaders recognize the importance of digital transformation, 55% of respondents say their digital strategy is always or often outpaced by the demands of the business. As a result, the digital acceleration gap is widening, where business needs are changing faster than the technology, processes, and culture required to keep pace. In response, leaders are adopting a more sustained approach to transformation by prioritizing access to data and employee experience.

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To help close the acceleration gap, business leaders across the three functions are focusing on:

  • Finance leaders: Unified, fast data.
    More than half of finance leaders (51%) say that one of the most important elements to accelerating planning, execution, and analysis cycles is new technologies that can help integrate data between disparate systems and break down internal data silos. Yet, 61% say that technology that unifies financial, people, and operational data is their most pressing need, with 64% admitting that it takes weeks — or more — to get results at the end of a reporting period.
  • HR leaders: Employee experience and skills development.
    Amid the Great Resignation, organizations increasingly focused on skills to help improve recruiting, retention, and overall employee experiences. According to the survey, 25% of HR leaders rank resilience and adaptability first among skills that will ensure teams can continuously meet business demands as they evolve. Further, 50% of HR leaders say positive employee experiences are most important to accelerating transformation across the business.
  • IT leaders: Breaking down silos to drive automation.
    While CIOs hold the key to data-fueled transformation, many are overwhelmed by the pace of change as legacy constraints and data silos are top barriers to digital transformation, according to the survey. Only 42% of IT leaders are confident in their teams’ ability to adopt cloud technologies without legacy constraints. Further, half of IT leaders (50%) are struggling to keep pace with service upgrades as part of legacy technology, with 59% saying it can take weeks or months to change an automated business process.
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Workday helps organizations close the digital acceleration gap with Workday enterprise management cloud, which provides a unified view of financial, people, and operational data to help enable organizations to adapt and stay ahead of the accelerating pace of change.

“Digital transformation is no longer a choice – it’s necessary to keep pace in today’s changing world. Yet, as the study shows, there’s an acceleration gap organizations need to address to help ensure their digital journeys keep pace with the growing and evolving demands of their business,” said Pete Schlampp, chief strategy officer, Workday. “We’re encouraged that global finance, HR, and IT leaders are taking a more measured approach to their transformation strategies by leveraging technology – like Workday – that drives adaptability across their business.”

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