Senior Leadership Needed to Drive Digital Success

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-27-2013 Email Print this article Print

Companies are aggressively pursuing digital innovation to benefit a large number of critical, strategic needs. They want to enhance digital tools and resources to better reach and engage customers. They seek to improve R&D. They also need to make more effective use of big data and analytics. And that's just for starters, according to a global survey from McKinsey & Company. The upshot: CIOs are sitting in the driver's seat to position themselves as top leaders on these efforts. But are other key members of the C-suite supporting digital projects in a meaningful way? If so, are they getting involved with hands-on commitment? The survey sheds light on these questions as well, because they could represent a make-or-break factor. "This is vital to the success of digital programs, as survey respondents most often cite a lack of senior-management interest as the reason for an initiative's failure," according to the accompanying report, Bullish on Digital. An estimated 850 global C-level executives—with more than 8% holding tech-specific roles—participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here

  • Bull's Eye

    30% of companies are using digital for advanced customer targeting (for advertising purposes) enterprise-wide, compared to 17% last year.
    1-Bull's Eye
  • Socially Active

    One-quarter are engaging customers via social media before, during or after sales, which is about the same as last year.
    2-Socially Active
  • Play Time

    24% have created branded apps and games for the Web or mobile devices, compared to 20% last year.
    3-Play Time
  • All Aboard

    46% of CEOs are either supportive, directly engaged, and/or active as sponsors of digital-business initiatives, compared to 59% of CIOs and 32% of CFOs.
    4-All Aboard
  • Top Three Success Factors of Digital Initiatives

    Senior-management buy-in: 32%, Internal leadership: 30%, Alignment between organizational structure and initiative's goals: 21%
    5-Top Three Success Factors of Digital Initiatives
  • Top Expected Digital Business Income-Drivers

    Digital customer engagement: 31%, Digital innovation of products, operating model or business model: 20%, Big data and advanced analytics: 19%
    6-Top Expected Digital Business Income-Drivers
  • Top Reasons to Deploy Big Data and Analytics Tools

    Improve budgeting, forecasting or planning: 46%, Enhance performance management and transparency in internal operations: 39%, Increase automation of common or straightforward decisions: 37%, Improve R&D: 35%, Increase operations, service delivery or supply-chain management: 31%
    7-Top Reasons to Deploy Big Data and Analytics Tools
  • Best Practices: Find the Right Digital Leaders

    Gain C-suite support first. Then pursue creation of a Chief Digital Officer to drive advancements.
    8-Best Practices: Find the Right Digital Leaders
  • Best Practices: Manage Expectations

    Maintaining an aspirational vision is good. Straying into excessive exuberance? Not so good.
    9-Best Practices: Manage Expectations
  • Best Practices: Prioritize Talent

    It's about more than tech know-how. You'll need talent with business and functional skills to make digital initiatives take off.
    10-Best Practices: Prioritize Talent
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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