We’ve been talking about how digital transformation is essential to success in the future. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and Redhat recently published a study that shows digital leaders are more likely to be successful than followers or laggards. Here are a few key points from the study:
- Digital leaders are more likely to have revenue growth over 10%
- Profit margins for digital leaders are greater than the average
- Leading companies will have a CEO who understands digital opportunities and threats, a CIO who is a master at digital, and digitally proficient leaders at many levels of the company
- Digital leaders will have a clearly defined strategy and vision
In the study, digital followers and laggards were only confident in their digital skills and knowledge 19% and 5% respectively, compared to 67% of the leaders who were extremely confident in their skills and knowledge. When asked about barriers to developing their digital business, 57% of laggards cited lack of digital leadership as a cause, which was the most cited reason by laggards.
For those companies who want to improve their digital leadership, the authors identify the following actions for CIOs:
- Create a digital advisory board made up of internal and external experts to advise the executive team.
- Learn to paint a picture of the digital future and use real examples
- Embed IT staff in the lines of business to increase two-way learning
- Create a common lexicon to increase understanding and improve communications
- Partner closely with key business leaders
- Establish formal and informal learning forums
- Embrace a coaching framework across the organization
- Identify and bring in outside experts to address specific trends for various parts of the business
A good way to start improving your digital leadership is to attend the upcoming webinar Rethink and Realign for Digital Transformation Success. While not tied to the study I talked about, this webinar will provide insights into many of the areas identified above.
You can get the full report on the enterprisersproject.com site.