Headspring Report


The World has seen a rapid acceleration of digital transformation agendas. In answering these challenges, focus is often placed on the technological requirements of change, but is there something missing in this bias? 

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Our Research

Understanding digital transformation

Our research suggests that many people are struggling to reconcile the many different ways to define digital transformation. In one recent review, for instance, twenty-three distinct definitions were observed across 28 published articles.

Broadly, these definitions highlighted several key characteristics:

The use of new digital technologies

Such as emerging mobile communications, artificial intelligence, cloud-hosted services, blockchain-managed transactions, and connected devices via the Internet-of-Things.

Allowing major business improvements

Both in increasing efficiency of existing business processes and enabling entirely new ones.

Enhancing customer experience

To be online and accessible with greater availability.

Creating new business model opportunities

Encouraging innovation in how value is created, managed, shared, and maintained.

Streamlining operations

By eliminating manual steps to be replaced by automation and using data to enhance predictive interventions.

Key findings

In this research, we collected more than 350 senior HR and L&D share their views, concerns, and expectations of digital transformation in their organisations. Some of the points covered in the report are:

of companies in Europe and the Middle East believe that technological trends are likely to impact their operations and workforce.
of our respondents believe clearer direction from the top would help leaders be more effective
of HR and L&D decision-makers see resistance from staff members as the number one obstacle to change

Alan W. Brown

He is a co-founder of Unities digital advisory services and Professor in Digital Economy at the University of Exeter Business School where he helped to found the London-based Initiative in Digital Economy at Exeter (INDEX). Alan’s research is focused on agile approaches to digital transformation, and the relationship between technology and business innovation in today’s rapidly-evolving digital economy. Alan currently has a fellowship at the Alan Turing Institute (the UK National centre for research in AI and data analytics), holds a PhD in Computer Science, and has over 25 years’ global experience building businesses and delivering high-tech products and services.


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