90% of Irish businesses are behind on their digital transformation journey

David Jeffreys, CEO ActionPoint - 'there is still a lot of work to be done to close the gaps within the market.' (Picture: Andres Poveda)

Only 10% of Irish businesses are currently digitally ‘strategic’ or ‘optimised’ when it comes to digital maturity, meaning that they have a digital led business strategy and are at the peak of their digital transformation journey.

Of the remaining 90% of companies surveyed by digital transformation services firm ActionPoint, over half would be considered “digitally purposeful” i.e. they have well-documented IT plans, understand and utilise data and are in a strong position post-Covid to strengthen their digital strategy.

Data from the second half of last year revealed this week to highlight where Irish businesses currently are with implementing their digital strategy, pulled together information from 248 survey respondents across a mix of small, mid-size and large Irish companies across 18 industries, including Financial Services, Technology and Manufacturing and Construction.

However, ActionPoint’s H2 2021 Digital Transformation Index Report found that there still remains a high level of Irish businesses far from the point of digital maturity, with 37% of Irish businesses defined as digitally ‘reactive’, identified as having somewhat clear IT priorities and being reactive to their IT needs rather than taking a proactive approach, which is needed in a fast changing environment.

There are fears that such companies can be left behind compared to competitors who are proactively looking at ways to strengthen their digital presence and ensure both customers and employees have a meaningful experience.

In February 2022, the Irish Government launched Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework. In their report, ambitious targets were set out for the digitalisation of Irish businesses including the goal to have 90% of SMEs at basic digital intensity by 2030 and 75% enterprise take-up in cloud, AI and Big Data.


Employee Experience (EX) covers a broad field that is influenced by culture, physical workspace and of course, technology. Technology is now the epicentre of the majority of businesses and EX technological solutions such as software, learning tools and user experience and design elements impact how employees view you and your workplace. More and more, this experience is having an influence on whether employees choose to stay with your company long-term or not.

Only 15% of organisations are investing in EX technology solutions. And despite the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a shift to a remote or hybrid model of work, only 51% of respondents are effectively using ‘Collaboration & Communication Platforms’ in their business which empower employees to communicate seamlessly while working together on projects online.

There is also some concern around the number of businesses not implementing a digital skills plan to upskill and train employees in new and emerging technologies. 63% of respondents to ActionPoint’s survey indicated that they do not have a digital skills plan.


77% of organisations say that productivity and efficiency are the reasons behind adopting new technologies, while 23% consider sustainability. Companies did demonstrate the importance of data and information security as ‘risk and compliance’ was the highest self-assessment score delivered by the survey. Additionally, 80% of respondents believed they were in compliance with GDPR.

On the topic of data and analytics, there were mixed results when it came to organisations using analytics to understand customers with 41% of respondents noting that they “had used analytics to better understand the customer” with a third of respondents saying they were unsure if it assisted them. However, by utilising technology 51% of respondents believed it improved customer loyalty.

Respondents to the survey included C-Level executives, board members, company directors and business owners from right across the country.