Save-to-transform as a catalyst for embracing digital disruption

Deloitte's 2019 European Cost Survey

Cost-management remains a strong imperative around the world. Companies continue to have positive expectations for revenue growth, with many reducing costs to allow for necessary growth. However, in today’s increasingly digital world, businesses also recognise the need to transform their operations and capabilities with infrastructure investments in key digital innovations—shifting from a save-to-grow to a save-to-transform mindset.

Cost cutting, growth, transformation, and digital technologies converge in cost survey results

More and more, businesses are recognising the need to transform their operations and capabilities with infrastructure investments in key digital innovations such as robotic process automation, cognitive technologies, business intelligence, and cloud-based ERP systems. These digital technologies and innovations can deliver dramatic improvements in competitiveness, performance, operating efficiency, and, increasingly, cost savings.

In this highly dynamic environment where digital innovation is a critical enabler for both cost reduction and business transformation, we are delighted to present our latest European cost survey report. The study includes responses from 414 executives and senior business leaders across 11 European countries, with 100 UK responses and a strong representation from every major industry.

Read on and download our full report to learn more.

Key findings

  • Many companies in Europe are adopting a “save-to-transform” mindset, where in addition to cost, growth, and talent — technology is also a priority
  • On average, about two-thirds of respondents have overall cost targets above 10%, while about one-third are targeting cost reductions above 20% — more than double the number in 2016
  • The failure rate for cost programs in Europe (83%) has increased significantly since the 2016 cost survey in Europe (increased by 26 percentage points on average)
  • Digital disruption is the top external risk amongst countries in Europe, followed by commodity price fluctuations and cybersecurity
  • Brexit is continuing to cause major uncertainty with 64% of UK companies likely to undertake pre or post Brexit actions over the next 24 months in response to Brexit

As part of the increasing “save-to-transform” mindset being observed in the market, technology and particularly digital solutions are at the forefront of efforts to fund ambitious transformation strategies in ever increasingly competitive markets. Costs continues to remain top of the agenda for our clients, however cost programme failure rates continue to be excessive across the market. The erosion of benefits can be reduced by ensuring continued focus throughout the implementation phase, whilst improving benefits tracking and sustainable cost management.

Jim Allen, Partner

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