Lack of expertise stalls digital transformation in Brazil

But local CIOs continue to drive projects around areas such as data-driven technologies and augmented reality, according to research.

Brazilian organizations see access to qualified professionals as the biggest hurdle to digital transformation initiatives, according to research.

Lack of skills was cited by 11 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled by local firm E-Consulting as the greatest challenge when it comes to advancing digital change.

Other hurdles mentioned include difficulty in demonstrating the return on investment of digital projects to the board (11 percent) followed by lack of C-level familiarity around the positive impact digital transformation can bring (9 percent).

Despite the challenges, half of the Brazilian IT leaders polled continue to push digital initiatives, according to the study. Main areas of focus include Big Data, mobile apps, chatbots, and augmented reality.

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Key external drivers for digital transformation in Brazil are the "technology revolution", coupled with increasing broadband coverage and decreasing cost of technology, cited by 16 percent of those polled. The connectivity facilitated by fast smartphone uptake was mentioned as another main driver, cited by 15 percent of the study participants.

Internal drivers mentioned include the need to respond to market pressures, cited by 12 percent, with 10 percent saying they are pushing digital transformation plans in order to update their IT portfolios and architecture.

When it comes to views about the role of digital transformation, the Brazilian IT leaders polled stated the initiatives will enable business generation within their organizations (21 percent), while others believe the projects will increase corporate efficiency, agility, and simplicity (16 percent).

Some 12 percent of the CIOs polled believe digital transformation has a key aim to improve the organization's technological readiness, with 10% stating that the initiatives are a response to the pressure from increasingly connected and empowered clients and users.

Digital transformation is not directly related to innovation, according to 35 percent of the Brazilian CIOs polled. Conversely, 28 percent believe digital change programs are the bedrock of innovation and one can't happen without the other.

The study polled 226 CIOs in 1000 large private sector organizations in Brazil.