44% of global enterprises lack the IT skills to move forward with digital transformation, according to a report by software company Veeam.

Veeam surveyed more than 1,550 enterprises across 18 countries for its 2020 data trends report.

Although most CXOs have digital transformation as a key priority for the year ahead, with spending predicted to reach $7.4tn by 2023, many are being held back.

44% said that a lack of IT expertise is preventing or has prevented their organisation from implementing digital transformation, with other common barriers including legacy systems, limited budgets, a lack of time, and a lack of support from senior management. With data now stored across data centers and clouds, legacy systems are often not enough to manage an organisations’ data needs.

Outage resilience failures impact digital transformation

The report also focused on organisations’ ability to cope with outages, which refers to a period of time when a system is unavailable, and can impact their ability to digitally transform. 95% of organisations said they experience unexpected outages, with the average outage lasting nearly two hours.

An hour of downtime for a high priority application is thought to cost $67,651, and can also damage customer relations and brand reputation, demonstrating the need to minimise downtime.

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By GlobalData

Furthermore, 69% said they have a “protection gap” between data being backed up and the amount of data they could afford to lose in an outage. Nearly three quarters also reported an “availability gap” between how fast applications need to be recovered and how fast they can be recovered in reality.

The report also focused on the importance of cloud infrastructure, with 78% of respondents saying digital transformation was their main reason to adopt cloud services, but a lack of time and resources can often prevent organisations’ from making the transition.

“Technology is constantly moving forward, continually changing, and transforming how we do business – especially in these current times as we’re all working in new ways. Due to DX, it’s important to always look at the ever-changing IT landscape to see where businesses stand on their solutions, challenges and goals,” said Danny Allan, CTO and SVP of Product Strategy at Veeam.

“It’s great to see the global drive to embrace technology to deliver a richer user experience, however the Achilles Heel still seems to be how to protect and manage data across the hybrid cloud. Data protection must move beyond outdated legacy solutions to a higher state of intelligence and be able to anticipate needs and meet evolving demands. Based on our data, unless business leaders recognize that – and act on it – real transformation just won’t happen.”

Read more: 41% of businesses plan to switch banking provider.