based on a survey of more than 4,800 executives and managers as well as interviews with business and thought leaders, we look specifically at the emerging contours of digital business and how companies are moving forward with their digital transformations. To a great extent, digital strategy drives digital matu- rity. Only 15% of respondents from companies at the 2% 3% 8% 15% 14% 14% 17% 15% 9% 3% 2 Early Developing 26% 45% 29% Early (1-3) Developing (4-6) Maturing (7-10) Maturing 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 Organization’s digital maturity level FIGURE 1: To assess companies’ digital maturity, we asked respondents to rate their company against an ideal organization — one transformed by digital technologies and capabilities — on a scale of 1 to 10. Three groups emerged: “early” (1–3), “developing” (4–6) and “maturing” (7–10). 29% 45% 26% Early Developing Maturing Lack of strategy Too many priorities Lack of management understanding Too many priorities Lack of strategy Insufficient tech skills Too many priorities Security concerns Insufficient tech skills Top Barriers by Maturity Stage 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. FIGURE 2: While a lack of strategy hinders early and developing companies, security issues become a greater concern for maturing digital companies. Digital Strategies That Transform
6 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW • DELOITTE UNIVERSITY PRESS R E S E A R C H R E P O R T S T R AT E G Y, N O T T E C H N O L O G Y, D R I V E S D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O N early stages say that their organizations have a clear and coherent digital strategy. (See Figure 3.) Among the more digitally mature, the number leaps to 81%. Effectively communicating strategy is equally im- portant, and maturing companies excel at it. Among respondents from companies at early stages, 63% agree or strongly agree that they know what their companies are doing in the digital domain. In matur- ing organizations, 90% do. The ultimate power of a digital strategy lies in its scope and objectives. In his oft-cited 2003 Harvard Business Review article, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” Nicholas Carr argued that unless a technology is proprietary to a company, it ultimately won’t provide competitive advantage on its own. As was the case with electric- ity and rail transport, many technologies will become available to all and thus provide no inherent advan- tage. The trap to avoid, according to Carr, is focusing on technology as an end in itself. Instead, technology should be a means to strategically potent ends. 3 Our research found that early-stage companies are falling into the trap of focusing on technology over strategy. Digital strategies at early-stage entities have a decidedly operational focus. Approximately 80% of respondents from these companies say improving efficiency and customer experiences are objectives of their digital strategies. Only 52% say that trans- forming the business is on the digital docket.
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