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A bumpy road to digitalization for Nordic organizations

10 November 2020
Third Nordic Data Center Trends report shows gap between aspiration and realization of digital dreams.
A bumpy road to digitalization for Nordic organizations

In the third Nordic Data Center Trends report, DigiPlex, the Nordic leader for sustainable, innovative, and secure data centers, shows that the expected success of digital transformation has been somewhat elusive for Nordic businesses. The report reveals that despite the acceleration in the use of digital services in the COVID-19 pandemic, 83% of respondents say they have not yet completed their digital transformation journey and 47% confess they still have a lot more to do to get there!

  • 58% of IT respondents say they already have transformed to a digital enterprise, or are transforming at full speed but only 49% of business managers agree
  • Two years after GDPR, 49% of respondents still are not completely sure in which country their data is physically located
  • Up to 77% have clear environmental company goals, but only 41% have environmental goals for IT
     

The survey of nearly 400 business and IT leaders across Norway, Sweden and Denmark has been running since 2016 and explores the challenges and opportunities facing Nordic businesses in the digital economy. Whilst finding progress in most areas, this third report suggests that businesses area struggling to deliver on digitalization plans. IT teams are confident; 58% of respondents from IT say they are transforming at full speed, are almost at their goal, or have already reached it. But responses from those on the business side are less sure; only 49% agree that transformations are proceeding at full speed.

Data regulation puts pressure on IT
Equally alarming, more than two years after the adoption of the European General Data Protection Resolution (GDPR) nearly half (49%) of respondents are still not completely sure in which country their corporate data is physically located. This is a core aspect of data governance under GDPR and failure to protect personal data of EU citizens can result in fines of 4% of the company’s global revenue. In the data economy, to garner trust, to control assets, and to comply with legislation, you need to know in which data centers your data is located and how it is protected.

Sustainability struggle - IT often overlooked
The final discrepancy revealed by the report concerns sustainability. Minimizing environmental impact is high on the agenda for most companies and citizens. Over three-quarters of businesses in the survey have clearly established environmental goals. But less than half (41%) have adopted clear goals for their IT environments, and one in five CEOs and CFOs do not know if their IT environments have specific sustainability targets or not. With IT departments’ already considerable consumption of energy likely to rise, it is vital that this environmental footprint is measured and responsibly managed.

In-house and cloud solutions evolving
As digitalization continues to be a key focus for all types of business across the Nordic region, data centers will increasingly be cornerstones of these strategies. However, the decline in the use of in-house data centers is accelerating. Today, 53% say they use in-house data housing resources to some extent. In only two years this group is expected to decrease to 45%, a drop of 8 percentage points. There are also clear signs that cloud solutions are not the universal solution for everything and everyone. According to the survey, 16% have already or are planning to move workloads, applications, or data back from the cloud. DigiPlex is expert at designing and operating data center facilities that offer cost effective, sustainable digital infrastructures to support these trends.

Wiljar Nesse, CEO at DigiPlex, commented; “Our third survey clearly shows that digitalization is proving much harder than expected for many organizations. The competing demands of innovation, cost efficiency, security, compliance, and availability mean that meeting digitalization demands rapidly can be difficult. Doing all of this whilst moving to a lower-carbon economy is a challenge for most. DigiPlex offers the skills, facilities and experience to help its customers balance these competing demands on the digital infrastructure and deliver the digital progress they need.”

About the Survey
This is the third Nordic Data Trends Survey conducted by DigiPlex. It commissioned Norstat, a pan-European leader in data collection, to undertake the survey in June 2020. A total of 377 respondents, 133 in Sweden, 124 in Denmark, and 120 in Norway in June 2020. The respondents were evenly split between business leaders (CEO and CFO, 186), and IT decision-makers and professionals (CIO, IT Manager, IT Operations Manager, Data Center Manager, 191), from private and public sector organizations with more than 100 employees.

For more information please contact:
Elisabeth Lennhede, Head of Communications, DigiPlex

 
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