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Digital transformation is a must if financial services firms want to meet evolving customer expectations and gain market share. Yet, financial professionals say they’re underwhelmed by progress on digital transformation, according to a recent survey from Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.

Fewer than one in five financial professionals who participated in the survey (17%) gave their firms top marks — a letter grade of “A” — for digital transformation efforts, and less than one-third of respondents (31%) gave their firms a letter grade of “B.”

In fact, most firms might be playing catch up when it comes to digital progress: more than half of survey participants (52%) gave their firms a grade of “C” or lower.

For many firms, embarking on digital transformation, hurdles include overhauling legacy technology (41% of survey participants), regulatory compliance (22%) and talent and resource acquisition (22%), the survey says.

Overcoming those hurdles could be critical for firms because survey participants say the biggest benefits to investing time and energy into digital transformation are improved productivity (46%) and stronger customer advocacy, loyalty and retention (31%).

Potentially affecting firms’ success, a lack of progress on digital transformation leaves many financial professionals to their own devices — literally. More than three-quarters of survey participants (77%) said they prefer their personal technology to their work technology, perhaps because of the persistence of legacy tech.

In the coming year, survey participants expect the most significant impact on their businesses will be artificial intelligence (58%), followed by cloud technologies (31%) and blockchain (11%).

Broadridge conducted the survey of 100 Canadians financial professionals at its annual client event on Dec. 4, 2018.