Companies who have already started down the digital path are pulling further away from the digital laggards, according to research by global tech research firm Gartner.
New research has found that 32 per cent of leaders at organisations with $US250 million or more in annual revenue said they have a business that is a digital business, up from 22 per cent in the same survey last year.
The study also revealed that most companies undertaking digital business initiatives don’t make a distinction between digital business strategy and business strategy. They have basically operationalised their transformation.
Those in the planning phase see the two as separate.
In practical terms, a company that is moving from strategy to execution will have fewer steps to reach its goals compared with one that has to insert a separate planning process for digital business, say the authors.
Over time, even if the faster team stumbles, it can recover more rapidly than one that has more process for strategy.
Executives already in digital business are invested in piloting and deploying, while those at companies in the planning phase are focusing on investigation and experimentation, according to the researchers.
Among the top priorities for digital business front-runners;
- Adopting new technology (70 per cent).
- Creating a highly collaborative environment (56 per cent)
- Supporting customer-driven technology change (53 per cent)
According to the authors: “These represent responses to an external stimulus and are characteristic of a healthy digital business.”
Gartner surveyed over 300 business leaders in the US, UK, Germany and Australia between May and June 2015, as part of its 2015 Digital Business Survey of IT, Business and Marketing Executives, to understand how businesses and institutions take in, identify and exploit the new opportunities that digital business represents.
“The survey results underlined how digital business leaders are more likely than others to focus on design and the creation of new digital business moments,” said Jorge Lopez, Gartner’s vice president and analyst.
“We asked respondents to rank the importance of five success factors, breaking down the results according to whether companies were using digital marketing techniques (a precursor to digital business), were planning digital business or had already implemented digital business. Not surprisingly, the last group accorded more importance to design and moments, which are necessary to execute digital business.”
When asked to identify what would be the impact of digital business — either positive or negative — over the next five years, organizational leaders overwhelmingly concurred on the upside, anticipating improvements in customer experience and engagement (86 percent), IT organization (86 percent), workforce productivity (84 percent) and sales organization (83 percent).
Organizations appear to anticipate little downside to digital business with just seven percent projecting a negative or significant negative impact in staff, and 6 percent in mergers and acquisitions.
“The disruptive effects of digital business cannot be underestimated,” said Lopez. “To date, a limited number of product categories — music, books, photographs and newspapers — have seen their business models upended.
“Going forward, organisational leaders in other product and service categories will also need to adapt by restructuring the workforce, eliminating obsolete roles, and finding talent that can help design systems and workflows that optimize the use of things integrated with people and business to drive new value for customers.”