Millions of UK businesses are poorly prepared for a digital future due to lack of funding, research suggests. As a result, one in every ten projects is shelved, despite business leaders admitting the importance of transformation.

The alarming findings came in a poll commissioned by digital consultants Procensol.

Censuswide surveyed 258 managers in manufacturing, finance and professional services about their experience of digital transformation.

Asked about their readiness for technology upgrades, six out of every ten respondents (59%) agreed that “digital transformation is important for our business, but we are not well-equipped or prepared”.

Censuswide asked the company managers to say how many projects they had planned versus how many they delivered. The average number planned was 4.2 but only 92% of these were delivered.

When asked why digital transformation hadn’t gone ahead, respondents cited “Brexit”, “overly complicated processes” and “concerns about other priorities” among their chief concerns.

Steve Huckvale, Procensol’s managing director, said:

“It is great news that businesses agree that digital transformation is important – but worrying that they feel unprepared and ill-equipped. Our research suggests uncertainty over Brexit may be playing a negative role but what is certain is that a squeeze on resources is a root problem.

“These findings should act as a shot across the bow for the business sector that it risks sleepwalking into a digital future if it doesn’t prioritise innovation and transformation projects now. “Whether managers are considering moving to the cloud, updating their CRMs or implementing automation, they will protect themselves against competition and other threats by acting today.”

When asked why projects had failed, 6 in 10 business leaders (63%) said the issue was either lack of resources or budget and a quarter (24%) cited a skills gap. Asked what they thought the main risks were when it came to implementing digital transformation, nearly three in 10 (29%) managers cited a lack of resources and over a third (35%) were worried about time constraints.