Thursday, February 21, 2013

What’s your Organization’s Digital IQ?

Digital IQ is a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology and weave it into the fabric of their organization.

PwC’s recently released annual Digital IQ survey of nearly 500 business and technology executives in the United States confirms that there is a fundamental transformation of how IT are used within the firm and in the marketplace.

1.    What is digital IQ? 

Digital IQ is a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology and weave it into the fabric of their organization.

An outside-in perspective is required to balance traditional thinking and digital pondering. Better serving today’s digitally empowered customer, employees, and business partners will mean turning your organization inside out to let in the outside, market-driven trends being seeing in the global marketplace. Identified outside-in architecture, four technology components, and three process components of the digital enterprise that affect how executives need to rethink their strategies

  • New Digital Thinking
1) Everyone is mobile consumer
2) Social media is a critical data source
3) Moving business application to cloud can make firm more competitive
4) Gain greater insight from business data by working from outside in

  • Technology components
1) Mobility
2) Social media
3) Cloud
4) BI

  • Process components
1) Strategic planning
2) Mobilization
3) Roadmap execution

2. How Can Business Raise Digital IQ? 

Raising organization’s digital IQ — that is, the way companies leverage digital technology and channels to meet customer needs as well as the needs of employees and business partners,  will help you take full advantage of many of the recent changes in the global economy.

Growing digital IQ entails more than merely adopting the latest tools or having a large IT budget; it is about integrating technology into the way a company plans, innovates, measures results, interacts with customers and employees, and ultimately creates value.

Digital IQ doesn’t improve without an improvement in processes. From series of surveys, that top performers not only put IT at the heart of their strategies, they ensure that senior management actively helps to drive the mobilization and execution of those plans.

  • Mobile: To raise the firm’s digital IQ, executives should take a sharper focus on how to engage and support customers on their mobile devices. Put greater emphasis on creating mobile solutions for customers. Remember that your employees are mobile customers, too. 
  • Social: The best companies integrate social media into their interactions with all their stakeholders 
  • Cloud: Many firms are already starting to think about their next platform restructuring, and where their core systems will be managed. The cloud is increasingly an important part of the discussions. 
  • Data Analysis: Top performers understand that data is currency in today’s marketplace. As a result, they are far more likely to be investing heavily in this area. 
In order to raise the digital IQ, executives should begin by asking the following questions:
1) Are you prepared for the current and next generations of customer and employees, who are naturally adept with mobile devices?
2)  Do you have a social media strategy that extends past the marketing and sales functions? Customers can provide a wealth of information not on how you can improve your products and services. Social media should also play a role in corporate knowledge management and collaboration.
3) Have you considered the role cloud computing will play in your next application re-platforming?
4) What sources of external information would most improve decision making and drive critical insight into operations? Many firms still rely too heavily on only their internal data.
5) At what point in the strategic planning process does IT enter the discussion? Firms that put IT and its leaders at the heart of their strategies are more likely to be successful.
6) How much effort is applied to mapping out the process for and determining who will lead the execution of firm’s strategy? Too many companies skip this critical stage in the process.
7) Do your parameters for successful execution include periodic measurement and a post-rollout assessment of the overall value realized by the business? Good project management is useless if initiatives do not provide measurable improvements.

3.    CIOs’ Digital Leadership 

But improving digital IQ means more than a technology upgrade; it requires significant changes in leadership thinking and corporate culture. Chief information officers (CIOs) are uniquely positioned to lead their organizations in the complex work of turning them inside out. IT organizations that can effectively serve both their customers and their firm, deliver projects on time and on the budget, and distill mountains of bits into meaningful insights are as rare as ever. In this way, IT ability to drive business value is becoming more — not less — differentiated. Top performers have following characteristics:

  • Integrate IT leaders in the strategic planning process. Creating a strategic plan is the first step in implementing any sort of large-scale corporate effort. Mobilizing the strategy is the critical but often forgotten catalyst for effective, sustainable change. In the mobilization stage, executives set plans and budgets against the overall strategy, creating a blueprint for how the strategy will be brought to life. 
  • The Innovative CIO, not surprisingly, top-performing companies are more likely than the rest of those polled to say that CIOs need extensive leadership abilities, they are the critical part of the leadership team and need to drive cultural change as well as bottom-line growth. The most important skill for the CIO is the ability to be an innovative thinker and apply IT to solve relevant industry and business issues. CIOs at top business performers are more likely to have very strong relationships with other C-suite executives as well as business unit leaders. 
  • CIOs need to make sure they have a carefully thought-out road map before implementing any large-scale initiative. Chasing these new demands means that CIOs must be excellent at managing the internal IT, but also excel at mobilizing new plans into action. The significant difference between top performers and the overall survey set further underscores that firms that are highly IT-enabled are better able to plan and execute effectively.
Hence, the organization's digital IQ is dependent on how smart it can process and leverage information in decision making; how responsive it can adapt to the increasing speed of changes; how well it can delight customers and how its employees feel engaged, and how capable it can drive the business's digital transformation.


Great post. Raising your organization’s digital IQ is crucial to taking full advantage of many of the recent changes in the global economy.

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