Boards slow to unlock data-driven value in their businesses, new research finds

Composability and AI are key to leveraging data as the essential asset needed for competitive advantage and building resilience.

LONDON, Feb. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ —  A new global study* from IFS and Boomi, conducted by leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC, reveals that enterprises are missing out on transformational capabilities and insights due to the combination of legacy technology platforms and a lack of Board-level understanding about the essential role of composability in unlocking business data.The study polled over 1,000 C-level respondents from manufacturing, energy and utilities, aerospace & defense, construction & engineering, telecoms and service industries across 12 countries in Europe, North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific in December 2023.

While most businesses believe they have successfully weathered the last three years’ disruption, companies highlighted that working capital and inventory imbalances (56%), as well as volatile demand (53%) and unpredictable supply chains (48%) had been their biggest challenges and where they focused their efforts. Respondents at the same time pointed to legacy applications (60%), lack of integration (48%), and inflexible/monolithic applications (43%) as having hindered their efforts and impacting how efficiently they mitigated risks, pointing to the potential costs associated with the lack of effectiveness.

The research highlights clear cause and consequences of outdated technology platforms, such as the negative impact of departmental silos (18%) and continued lack of visibility of data (24%). This suggests that companies are limited in their ability to use their data in long-term planning and that these challenges will pose a greater liability to business agility and any response to further disruptions.

With more than two-fifths (41%) of organizations lacking a composable strategy, businesses risk stagnation and mounting technical debt. Whilst the value of a composable architecture is well understood by over 70% of the respondents, these are the C-suite with business and functional responsibilities. The Board lags behind in their understanding of composability, with only 19% being clear on the value it creates and therefore pointing to a need for education and clearer business cases that highlight short, medium and long-term value.  

The research also indicated supply chain (51%), procurement (47%) and customer service and support (40%) were the top areas which stand to benefit from composability, as well as customer experience (36%) and scaling to new business opportunities (51%). The research sends a clear message to executives: in order to remain competitive, build agility and drive productivity across their entire business, composability is key. Speed to realizing value requires a strong data foundation and a mature cloud strategy as pre-requisites to the adoption of other advanced technologies. Inertia in moving to the cloud or formulating a clear composability strategy is likely to prevent businesses from unlocking the full value of AI and Machine Learning technology and extending the green shoots they are already seeing in pockets of their businesses – reduced costs (15%), faster time to market (14%), improved business planning (14%), increased agility and risk mitigation (14%).

The challenge for organizations now is to realize value pervasively, but they must overcome considerable barriers, one being the lack of executive/Board understanding (54.5%) of the value of composability, and the other not adequately progressing in their cloud journey (50%). Unsurprisingly then, the CIO and CTO are the primary champions for composability.

Alex Rumble, SVP Product Marketing and Corporate Communications, IFS commented: “Across most industries the move to cloud took considerable time to come into effect. For many organizations, security as well as the change impact on their business were weighty considerations. Composability is different, as the end state is not about technology, but about pulling together data that will accelerate leveraging AI and realizing business value faster, with benefits in speed of innovation and time to market, business-wide efficiency, and increased people and asset productivity.

Rumble continued: “Composability is a data play that enables agility and mid and long-term planning, whether that’s around investment in field assets, or capex planning on factories, or pursuing new revenue streams. The positive news is that functional and operational leaders recognize the transformational impact and now need to secure board-level education and shift in thinking in the dependency between composability and AI.”

A webinar between IFS, IDC and Boomi explores the findings in depth and is available to view here.

* Over 1,000 senior business decision makers from manufacturing, energy and utilities, aerospace & defense, construction & engineering, telecoms and service industries across 12 countries were polled in December 2023.

About IFS

IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. Within our single platform, our industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that our customers can be their best when it really matters to their customers—at the Moment of Service™. The industry expertise of our people and of our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of over 6,000 employees every day live our values of agility, trustworthiness, and collaboration in how we support our 6,500+ customers. Learn more about how our enterprise software solutions can help your business today at

EUROPE / MEA / APJ: Adam Gillbe
IFS, Director of Corporate & Executive Communications
Phone: +44 7775 114 856

IFS, Director of Corporate & Executive Communications
Phone: +44 7018 607 299

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