CIO Dashboard

5 Behaviors of Digital Performance

by Chris Curran on April 1, 2014 [email] [twitter]

Post image for 5 Behaviors of Digital Performance

In our 2014 Digital IQ survey of almost 1,500 business and technology executives, only 20% of respondents are highly confident in their organization’s Digital IQ—a company’s acumen in understanding, valuing and weaving technology throughout the enterprise.

How can a company raise its Digital IQ and harness the full power of technology to advance their business performance? Top performers—companies that reside in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation—point the way.

We analyzed the responses of top performers to understand what they do differently to fuse business and technology. For top performers, digital isn’t window dressing or corporate speak. Digital is a way of life. Following are five key best practices that top performers employ to outdo the competition:

1. CEO is the Digital Leader

81% of top performers say their CEO is an active champion of using information technology to achieve business goals, compared with 68% of other companies. Executives tell us that CEO involvement in shaping strategy provides them with a competitive advantage. Once the company determines its digital strategy, the CEO must define clear roles, accountability, and governance for how the strategy is executed. The scope should address who is responsible, and how the functional or business unit leaders will work together—for example, what the CMO is responsible for in a customer initiative, what the CIO does, and together what they will deliver and when.

2. CMO and CIO are Collaborative Partners

The CIO and CMO relationship is critical to success because many digital technology initiatives are driven by marketing needs. 70% of top performers say their CIO and CMO have a strong relationship, compared with just 45% of the pack. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts about whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department.

3. Innovation is Driven from the Outside-In

Top performers are more likely to seek outside sources to help fill their idea pipeline, in addition to internal sources. They take what we refer to as an “outside-in” approach to innovation. Given the wealth of potential sources, outside-in innovation can generate significantly more ideas. It’s crucial for companies to use a well-defined process to effectively filter and discern which emerging technologies will be the most disruptive to their unique company, market, and customers.

4. IT is Fast, Flexible and Future-minded

Top performers are remaking IT to better meet the needs of the business. They are creating more flexible integration architectures and cultivating the ability to roll out technology services faster, embrace myriad devices and data, and deal with relentless cyber threats. In our study, while top performers were considerably better at completing strategic IT initiatives on time, within scope, and on budget, they fail to meet delivery goals more than one-third to more than one-half of the time. Sweeping IT transformation needs to be front and center for all organizations.

5. Digital Capability is Distributed across the Business

As the lines between IT and business blur, it’s essential that IT understands the business to help drive business value. Our study found that IT organizations within top performing companies consistently understand key aspects of the business in areas like corporate strategy, sales and marketing, supply chain, human resources, supply chain, and so on. For example, 35% of IT organizations within top performing companies understand the corporate strategy compared to only 20% of overall respondents. Not only do top performer IT professional have a better understanding of different aspects of the business, they also maintain broader business-oriented skills. In terms of strategy, for example, 35% of IT organizations within top performing companies claim skills in strategy, versus 21% of overall respondents. Going forward, the make-up of the IT group will evolve, as IT transforms from a centralized authority of technology to a strategic orchestrator of business services.

Company leaders ready to ramp up their Digital IQ and develop these interlocking capabilities will find that as they add each behavior, they will be better positioned for high performance. The proof is in the pudding. Companies in our study that took this path were twice as likely to be top performers in revenue growth, profitability, and innovation. What is your business waiting for?

Image shared by Gaudencio Garcinuno

Be the first to comment

Enterprise Agile: One Size Does Not Fit All

March 26, 2014
Thumbnail image for Enterprise Agile: One Size Does Not Fit All

Tweet Guest post by Tim Mattix It’s no surprise that agile development software methods are quickly claiming ground over waterfall methods.  The linear waterfall model and its sequential design process run counter to the reality that customers often don’t know exactly what they want up-front; rather, they tend to fine-tune their requirements through ongoing two-way interactions during the life cycle of the project. On the other hand, the evolutionary development approach inherent in agile gives […]

1 comment Read more →

The CIO’s Role in the Internet of Things

March 7, 2014
Thumbnail image for The CIO’s Role in the Internet of Things

Tweet In our soon-to-be-released Digital IQ survey of over 1,400 business and technology executives, 20% of respondents say they plan to invest in sensors. We feel confident in predicting that the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of Everything will finally begin to take off this year, as futurists have forecasted for years. What remains to be seen is whether or not CIOs will win their rightful place in product design planning and the […]

1 comment Read more →

6 Signs You Need a New IT Strategy

January 19, 2014
Thumbnail image for 6 Signs You Need a New IT Strategy

Tweet Guest post by Mike Pearl IT departments face crushing pressure from every direction to transform IT to meet the daunting demands of the digital age.  If you feel yourself asking questions related to IT’s role, better working relationships with Marketing, and how to capitalize on the firehose of emerging technologies, it is likely time for a new IT strategy. IT must institute massive change on multiple fronts: deepen and reshape business relationships, overhaul IT […]

0 comments Read more →

Digital Enterprise or Digital Front Office?

January 6, 2014
Thumbnail image for Digital Enterprise or Digital Front Office?

Tweet CIO Magazine’s latest State of the CIO report tells us that only 25% of 722 CIOs surveyed think that their IT organization is positioned as true business colleagues within the rest of their organizations.  This dismal positioning is consistent with PwC’s Digital IQ findings that show that only a quarter of companies put IT at the front of business innovation, rather than hiding them in the back office to only contribute to internal improvements. […]

1 comment Read more →

Tapping into the Maker Movement

December 19, 2013
Thumbnail image for Tapping into the Maker Movement

Tweet When you hear the word innovation, what’s the first thing you think of? For me, it’s probably the Media Lab at MIT. With few constraints and an incredible collection of minds across not just information technology disciplines, but music, art, psychology and many others, they have masterminded hundreds of breakthrough inventions – everything from the first web recommendation system called Firefly to Lego Mindstorms to the $100 Laptop. But, increasingly, MIT’s Media Lab isn’t […]

0 comments Read more →

Businesses Banking on Breakthrough Innovation

December 5, 2013
Thumbnail image for Businesses Banking on Breakthrough Innovation

Tweet Post co-authored by Rob Shelton, PwC’s Global Innovation Strategy Leader Last year if you asked a CEO what he or she is doing to achieve growth, the answer would have been investing in China. This year the answer is innovation. Business executives are banking on bold innovation to meet aggressive growth targets, so they are taking innovation more seriously than ever before. In the spirit of Peter Drucker who said, “innovation is work,” business […]

0 comments Read more →

Making Enterprise Apps Mindful

November 19, 2013

Tweet Guest post by Lindsey Jarrell As a CIO, you’re probably familiar with the term workflow, but what about mindflow? Mindflows are the steps we undergo to sift through information and arrive at a difficult decision. Comparing, evaluating, and summarizing leads us down a twisting, turning journey toward a final outcome. In the past, it’s been difficult to design enterprise apps that can support knowledge workers in this convoluted process. Now, that’s changing. We’ve spent […]

0 comments Read more →

2 Imperatives for the Digital CIO

October 17, 2013
Thumbnail image for 2 Imperatives for the Digital CIO

Tweet It’s been an exciting few years of football for my alma matter Texas A&M.  With the introduction of a new head coach came a new offensive scheme, known as the Air Raid, which is a type of spread offense noted for using many creative formations with receivers and different players in the backfield, short and long passes and a quick tempo.  Combined with a very quick and athletic quarterback, this is a very difficult […]

0 comments Read more →

The Next Phase of Agile Development

October 9, 2013
Thumbnail image for The Next Phase of Agile Development

Tweet Guest post by Alan Morrison It’s human nature for people to build sturdy structures to shield themselves from the unpredictability of the elements. But, if you are too sheltered for too long, you weaken your ability to continuously confront change. That’s the dilemma facing IT departments. Change is raining down on them, and they are having trouble continuously adapting. A term is gaining momentum in the IT community to describe an ideal state for […]

1 comment Read more →