Failed digital projects cost Irish firms €320k on average

Enabling digital transformation projects one of the top pressure points for IT staff in Irish businesses.

Failed digital transformation projects have cost businesses in Ireland an average of €323,143 over the last year, according to a survey by IT services firm Auxilion.

Conducted by Censuswide, the survey of c-suite executives from enterprises across Ireland found that 72% of respondents cited poor IT governance as the reason for the failure of digital transformation projects. For over a third (35%) of these, this occurred in the last 12 months.

“Irish organisations are struggling to successfully deliver digital transformation programs, and it’s likely costing hundreds of millions of euros across the board”

Along with the failure of digital transformation projects, more than half (59%) of Irish organisations have had to abandon a project due to poor governance. Perhaps unsurprising, some 80% of those surveyed believe outsourcing their IT to a partner could improve their governance.

Business priorities

In terms of the most important business priorities for Irish executives, these were found to be ensuring IT governance and securing business operations (37% respectively). Expanding into other markets (36%), supporting digital transformation (30%) and enabling employee engagement (28%) finished off the top five.

Despite being among the top business priorities for respondents, a fifth (20%) said enabling digital transformation was one of the biggest pressure points for their organisation in terms of IT. 

The survey also revealed findings in relation to cloud adoption and management, with the most popular infrastructure among those surveyed revealed as private cloud (47%), followed by hybrid cloud (23%) and public cloud (22%). However, for those using a hybrid cloud to deploy IT infrastructure, some 30% would describe their hybrid cloud strategy as not fit for purpose.

When it comes to the potential challenges to cloud adoption and management, the biggest challenges cited were lacking the knowledge and skills within the internal team (36%), struggling with data compliance requirements around the cloud (31%) and not having visibility of all devices accessing the cloud (29%).

As well as cloud – which 71% of respondents say will be in place in their organisation by the end of 2022 – other technologies are rising in popularity2. By the end of the year, 69% will roll out machine learning, 65% will introduce the Internet of Things, and 63% will have Artificial Intelligence in place. Furthermore, Edge Computing will be adopted by 63% and over half (52%) will have brought in 5G.

“Our survey suggests that Irish organisations are struggling to successfully deliver digital transformation programs, and it’s likely costing hundreds of millions of euros across the board,” warned Eleanor Dempsey, Consultancy & Competency director at Auxilion.

“Companies are clearly underestimating the complexities of driving change, automating processes and replacing technology.

“It’s worth noting that the skills required to drive digital transformation are scarce, and not readily available internally. To transform meaningfully, businesses not only need to deploy new applications and technologies, as well as business behaviours and processes, but then embed these changes across the entire team. After all, transformation projects are driven by people – and they must have the right IT governance in place to work in a collaborative and impactful way to both manage and benefit from change.

“In fact, getting the governance part of the puzzle right is crucial to embracing digital thinking and capitalising on transformation. But if this is done effectively, organsiations can benefit from heightened productivity among employees, enhanced service delivery for customers, and increased growth for the business.”

Main image at top: Eleanor Dempsey, Consultancy & Competency Director at Auxilion,

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.