Despite evidence that digital initiatives can improve business outcomes, many companies still choose not to implement a formal, enterprise-wide digital transformation plan, according to a recent TechRepublic’s CIO Jury poll.

When asked “Does your company have a formal digital transformation plan?”, seven tech leaders said no, while five said yes.

These findings echo recent research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and the Genpact Research Institute, which found that only half of companies had a business-wide digital strategy. In that study, 52% of companies reported that the CIOs and CTOs were responsible for creating the organization’s digital vision, but that they faced roadblocks including an inability to experiment quickly on digital projects, change management problems, and departmental silos.

“Our business supports constantly varying needs from a shifting pool of clients,” said David Wilson, director of IT services at VectorCSP. “We embrace opportunities for digital transformation when they present themselves, but would not have a clear path for such a formal plan overall.”

“We do not have a formal digital transformation plan, as analog processes are still part of our project design workflow, like model making and sketching,” said Dan Gallivan, director of information technology at Payette. “We do, however, see more and more integration of digital processes with analog, like using 3D printers and laser cutters from digital files to sketching over digital information, and then scanning to capture data. All of the tools become part of the design process.”

SEE: Why the CIO is essential to digital transformation

Simon Johns, IT director at Sheppard Robson Architects LLP, said his company does not have a formal plan, “though we have effectively digitized most of our traditional analog processes over the previous five years.”

Those tech leaders at organizations that do have formal digital transformation plans reported that they were focusing on different initiatives. “Our company has a strategy and plan enabled by social media, analytics, cloud, and Internet of Things,” said Martin Mc Cormack, head of operations at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

For Florentin Albu, CIO of Ofgem E-Serve, “the digital transformation in our case is closely linked to the improvement of customer journeys, and to an optimization of business processes that will lead to operational excellence,” he said. “New technologies and the younger demographic are key factors considered in this transformation.”

SEE: Ebook–IT leader’s guide to achieving digital transformation (Tech Pro Research)

In the education realm, Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator at Christ the King Catholic School, said his school is formally transforming from paper assignments to digital assignments. This includes a multi-year plan to provide junior high school students with Surface Tablets, on which they can read textbooks and complete assignments, Kopp said.

United Bank Limited has a formal digital strategy that was approved by the board last year, said Muhammad Azfar Latif, head of IT/product management division at United Bank Limited. “It covers end to end digitalization for enhancing the way our bank works today,” he said. “It will enhance the customer experience, and is expected to reduce the turnaround time for all activities.”

This month’s CIO Jury was:

  • Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLP
  • Dan Gallivan, director of Information Technology, Payette
  • David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
  • Gene Richardson, COO, Experts Exchange
  • Muhammad Azfar Latif, head of IT, product management division, United Bank Limited
  • David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
  • Martin Mc Cormack, head of operations, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  • Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office
  • Mark Johns, former director of application systems design and development, Health Partners Plans
  • Mike S. Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure, Lincoln Electric
  • Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator, Christ the King Catholic School
  • Joel Robertson, CIO, King University

Want to be part of TechRepublic’s CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic’s CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email alison dot denisco at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.