How to Rate Your Company’s Digital IQ

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Once upon a time you could start a business with your bare hands and rely solely on manpower to grow. Not anymore. Virtually every business today relies (more or less) on technology to stay relevant, increase awareness of its brand and sell, sell, sell.

In its 2015 Global Digital IQ Survey, consultancy firm PWC draws attention to what can be considered the 10 technological commandments for business – 10 attributes that fuel the digital growth engine of an organization.

  1. Our CEO is a champion for digital
  2. The executives responsible for digital are invilved in setting high level business strategy
  3. Business-aligned digital strategy is agreed upon and shared at the C-level
  4. Business and digital strategy are well communicated enterprise-wide
  5. We actively engage with external sources to gather new ideas for applying emerging technologies
  6. Digital enterprise investments are made primarily for competitive advantage
  7. We effectively utilize all the data we capture to drive business value
  8. We proactively evaluate and plan for security and privacy risks in digital enterprise projects
  9. We have a single, multi-year digital enterprise roadmap that includes business capabilities and processes as well as digital and IT components
  10. We consistently measure outcomes from our digital technology investments

We’ll let you dissect each one in part in the original report, but let’s spend an extra few minutes looking at the first attribute considered to boost a company’s Digital IQ:

Is your CEO a champion for digital?

This is an important one. The research found that in the past two years alone, CEOs everywhere went on an awareness spree about the technological world around them. 73% of the companies PWC spoke to this year called their chief executive officer a digital champion, up 16 points from the 57% in 2013. Even better, 83% of those interviewed said they felt it was crucial to champion the use of digital technologies (even though not all did). The Middle East reportedly takes home the crown with 84% of CEOs championing tech. One reason may be that some CEO chairs are being filled by younger heirs who grew up in the midst of the personal computer revolution.

Here at 4PSA we’ve written extensively about the importance of having technical prowess in the executive ranks – not necessarily a degree in computer science, but a level of understanding that permits the company to make smart investments in tech.

In today’s highly-connected world, a business leader must have an acute sense of smell for emerging technologies, such as Unified Communications solutions and cloud-based collaboration apps. UCcaaS, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS have a strong track record as cost-savers, but also as means to reach the masses faster, increase customer satisfaction and boost revenues implicitly. A CEO who knows a thing or two about these things is as valuable as two CTOs put together.

Investments in tech now take up 15% of a company’s annual revenue

Because CEOs are beginning to attain technical acumen, there is less hesitation when it comes to making larger investments in new and emerging tech, but also investments in established solutions that have stood the test of time.

The report notes that analysts typically forecast these expenditures in single digits, yet the reality painted by the PWC research is strikingly different. Almost one third of respondents in the study said their company was investing more than 15% of their annual revenue into technological solutions spanning all areas of the business – not just the IT department. Finally, two-thirds of respondents rated their companies as having a strong Digital IQ, up from last year’s 64% (albeit, not by much).

So, how do you rate your company’s Digital IQ?

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