A new study published by web content and digital management company e-Spirit found that while 88 percent of the 200 companies it surveyed have digital transformation projects on the drawing board or underway, most are still struggling to implement them in basic ways that range from application integration to omnichannel support.

According to Oliver Jaeger, vice president of global marketing and communications for e-Spirit, companies must be able to connect people, processes and platforms to have a shot at adapting to today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.

The Right Stuff

So what exactly does e-Spirit mean by digital transformation?

The objective, Jaeger told CMSWire, is to share the right information with the right person at the right time through the right channel from the right platform.

“In order to deliver the type of seamless cross-channel experiences customers expect, companies face an uphill struggle to integrate people, processes and systems, [none] of which are … adequately integrated today,” Jaeger noted.

Long Wish Lists

None of these obstacles seems to be stopping companies from generating long wish lists of application areas that they hope to integrate into seamless wholes.

“In the majority of cases, we found that companies are aspirational and see digital transformation as a way to improve the experience for customers and to become more agile,” Jaeger said.

Setting Realistic Priorities

E-Spirit’s research found that the majority of enterprises have 11 customer-facing applications which require seamless integration to support the customer journey from entry point to exit.

The research is clear that when it comes to setting priorities, customer facing applications like customer relationship management (CRM) systems are by far the most important.

Entrenched Legacy Systems

When asked what types of applications companies would like to see cohesively integrated, more than 50 percent of respondents named web analytics, CRM and social collaboration, followed by a range of marketing-oriented apps such as marketing automation.

Yet as Jaeger pointed out, “There are many legacy systems that are out there including print which [remain important] channels for many.” So although companies “must [be open to] change in order to deliver … digital experience[s], we [have] discovered they have a long road ahead.”