While many think enterprise digital transformation initiatives are fully underway, the majority of these projects are actually still in the early stages, according to a Dell Technologies report released on Tuesday. Some 78% of business leaders said digital transformations are not as widespread throughout their organizations as they should be at this point.

The report surveyed 4,600 business leaders across 42 countries to determine the current state of digital transformation efforts. Despite rapid advancements in technological innovation, only 5% of businesses globally were labeled Digital Leaders, showing no improvement since 2016, according to the report.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

More than half of businesses (51%) said they believed they will struggle or fail to meet shifting customer needs within five years, and 30% said they fear being left behind, the report found. The US, in particular, is lagging, ranking no. 15 on the report’s list of digitally mature countries.

“In the near future, every organization will need to be a digital organization, but our research indicates that the majority still have a long way to go,” Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said in the press release. “Organizations need to modernize their technology to participate in the unprecedented opportunity of digital transformation. The time to act is now.”

The report identified the top five tech areas companies should be investing in to aid digital transformations:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Internet of Things (IOT) technology
  3. Multi-cloud environment
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI)
  5. Compute centric approach

If companies want to remain relevant and become successful in future digital transformation projects, then the must prioritize those five areas, the report found. Some 46% of business leaders said they are also focusing on the development of in-house digital skills and talent through coding programs and trainings.

For advice on how to prepare your business for a digital transformation, check out this TechRepublic article.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 78% of business leaders said digital transformations are not widespread enough throughout their organizations. — Dell, 2019
  • Companies should invest in cybersecurity, IoT, multi-cloud, AI, and compute centric approaches for future digital transformation projects. — Dell, 2019