Is your company getting the ROI you expected from digital transformation?

A recent Strategy+Business article looked at PwC’s 2020 Global Digital IQ research, which studied the digital behaviors of thousands of companies worldwide. According to the article, PwC found that “just 5 percent are getting moderate or significant payback from their digital efforts in all areas measured: growth, profits, innovation, customer experience, brand lift, attracting and retaining talent, disrupting their own industry, using data to improve decisions, cutting costs, and combating new industry entrants.” In fact, PwC concluded that this small fraction of companies, which the firm refers to as “Transcenders” of digital transformation, have embraced digital change better than others—and as a result have achieved better results.

According to PwC, there are four key differentiators that help Transcenders stand out. Take a look and see how they can apply to your company:

1. Mandate change—don’t just talk about it. Requiring change is one approach that sets Transcenders apart, according to PwC. In addition to leading by example, executives are encouraged to implement strategies that drive collaboration and new ways of working. In fact, the researchers at PwC found that leaders “go out of their way to avoid hindering innovation, and instead create opportunities for ideas to bubble up.” For executives, this includes acting on ideas from everyone, not just business leaders and managers, and breaking down departmental silos to make it easier for people from across the company to work together.

2. Invest like you mean it. Getting digital transformation ROI requires more than simply investing in technology, training, and new ideas. The researchers suggest first focusing on functions that need modernization with digital transformation, then shifting investment efforts towards achieving business growth. In its research, PwC found that 84 percent of Transcenders who implemented digital tools and initiatives reported that the time employees spent on innovation increased.

3. Put people first—and make them your superpower. Digital transformation leaders focus on employee experience and upskilling, cultivating an environment where anyone in the company can innovate, according to the PwC survey. Going beyond typical employee training practices, the PwC survey found that Transcenders recently redesigned the way they develop employee training, developing skills that are bite-size, immediately applicable, and motivating.

4. Build a resilient culture that can survive anything. Be prepared for the next disruption. According to PwC, transformations have a start and a finish versus transcendence, which is about constant learning and improvement. Transcendent leaders have a digital transformation vision and strategy, know the value culture plays, and lead by example. The result? Eighty-six percent of Transcenders reported an increase in rapid innovation across the business, according to the PwC research.

To learn more on this topic, check out this recent APEX of Innovation post on What We Can Learn from the Decade’s Top Transformations.

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