New IFS research says 40% of businesses are unprepared for digital transformation despite 86% expecting it to play a key role in their future

IFS’s Digital Transformation Survey unveils how senior decision makers in 20+ countries view the need for digital transformation, what technologies will drive the transformation, and who owns the area within the company

IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today reveals the findings of a survey of nearly 500 senior decision-makers from companies ranging across industrial manufacturing, construction, retail, oil and gas, automotive, energy and utilities, and other industries. 86% of the respondents think that digital transformation will play a key role in their market but 40% lack a strategy for it.

Unclear internal responsibilities for digital transformation
When asked who within the company has responsibility for driving digital transformation the respondents call out the CIO (40% of the respondents), CEO (39%), and the CFO (35%), while the CTO (20%) and the CMO (6%) are not considered as influential in this area.

When the C-suite leaders answer who owns digital transformation, they often point at themselves. 53% of the CEOs consider they are responsible. The corresponding numbers for CFOs and CIOs are 69% and 63% respectively.

High priority but no clear strategy
86% of the respondents say digital transformation will play a key role in their market in the coming five years and 76% answered that they need more information about digital transformation.
However, many companies have not come as far when it comes to implementing strategies: 40% of the respondents answered they don´t have a clear strategy for digital transformation.

Technologies driving digital transformation
When asked to rate several disruptive technologies on how important they are in driving digital transformation in the respondents’ industries, the following ratings were given:

(Scale: 1-100. 1=Unimportant, 100= Very important).

  • Internet of Things: 59
  • Cloud computing: 59
  • Cognitive computing: 55
  • Machine learning: 53
  • Wearable technology: 48
  • 3D printing: 42
  • Drone technology: 39

Regional differences
The survey reveals a number of regional differences regarding the view of internal responsibilities:

  • The Polish respondents believe the CIO (57% of the respondents) is the one driving digital transformation, while only 41% think it is the CEO
  • In the U.S., the CFO is believed to drive digital transformation (42%), only 30% think it is the CEO who is responsible, the lowest CEO score out of all the regions
  • 57% of the Brazilian respondents call out the CTO as the one responsible for digital transformation, this is the highest number for CTOs out of all the regions
  • The Scandinavian respondents trust the CIO to be the one responsible for digital transformation, (45%), followed by the CEO (38%)
  • The Asian respondents are the most uncertain, where 29% answer that they don´t know who within the organization that owns digital transformation

“This survey shows that senior leaders of large industries have realized the potential that digital transformation offers, but in many cases haven´t got a strategy in place to leverage it yet. It appears there is also a great uncertainty regarding who is actually responsible for driving the digital transformation agenda within companies. Companies must clarify their goals and outline clear strategies in order to utilize the full potential of digital transformation,” said Mark Boulton, CMO at IFS.

About the survey:
Almost 500 respondents in 20+ countries were surveyed to gather insights about their thoughts on digital transformation. Respondents include senior decision makers (CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, CMOs, etc.) from a wide range of industries that IFS works with, including industrial manufacturing, construction and contracting, and retail and wholesale.

Laura Stockhausen, Director of Marketing Communications, IFS North America. Phone: 1 (262) 717-6591,

Kristina Hill, Marketing Communications Manager, IFS North America. Phone: 1 (262) 317-7476,

About IFS 

IFS™ is a globally recognized leader in developing and delivering enterprise software for enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and enterprise service management (ESM). IFS brings customers in targeted sectors closer to their business, helps them be more agile and enables them to profit from change. IFS is a public company (XSTO: IFS) founded in 1983 and currently has over 2,800 employees. IFS supports more than 1 million users worldwide from its network of local offices and through a growing ecosystem of partners. For more information visit:

Follow us on Twitter: @ifsworld

Visit the IFS Blogs on technology, innovation and creativity:


About Us

IFS™ develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of our people and solutions, together with commitment to our customers, has made us a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 3,500 employees supports more than 10,000 customers worldwide from a network of local offices and through our growing ecosystem of partners. For more information, visit: Follow us on Twitter: @ifsworld Visit the IFS Blog on technology, innovation and creativity: