PwC’s 4th Annual Digital IQ Survey: Key findings

PwC’s 4th Annual Digital IQ Survey: Key findings

Businesses must raise their Digital IQ now, or fall further behind

The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets puts massive computing power into the hands (and pockets) of consumers across the globe. Cloud computing provides access to software tools that once were out of reach. And social media connects friends, colleagues and people with similar interests, allowing them to share ideas, form action groups, and even innovate on new solutions to common problems.

All these developments mean better integrating technology into the way your organization creates and delivers value.

Some of the key findings include:

The enterprise is starting to respond to the consumerization of IT.

Leading firms understand that being behind the curve on the strategic use of digital technologies weakens their ability to interact and strengthen relationships with customers, employees, and partners.

Businesses must raise their Digital IQ now, or fall further behind

The core of the ecosystem for innovation has moved from inside the firm to out in the marketplace,” says John Sviokla, a principal at PwC and the firm’s business innovation leader. “Customer and employee expectations are being shaped by this new, dynamic, and exciting environment. If you miss this trend, you may be increasingly irrelevant to the market.

An outside-in perspective is required to balance traditional business thinking

Better serving today’s digitally empowered customer, employees, and business partners will — quite literally — mean turning your organization inside out to let in (and accommodate) the outside, market-driven trends we are seeing in the global marketplace. Consumer wants, needs, preferences — and ways to engage them — must now find themselves at the very center of what it means to be a relevant, customer-centric organization.

The same applies to the wants, needs, and preferences of today’s employees and business partners. They, too, must be put at the center of how you do business since employees and partners have been empowered equally by digital technologies and data transparency.

CIOs are uniquely positioned to lead this transformation

Unlike the predictions of some pundits who say that IT is commoditizing, we see that those IT organizations that can effectively serve both their customers and their firm, deliver projects on time and on budget, and distill mountains of bits into meaningful insights are as rare as ever. In this way, IT’s ability to drive business value is becoming more — not less — differentiated.

Digital IQ doesn’t improve without an improvement in processes

As with our previous Digital IQ studies, we found that top-performing companies 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. Here are three key steps.

  • Integrate IT leaders in the strategic planning process.
  • Mobilizing the strategy is the critical but often forgotten catalyst for effective, sustainable change.
  • Focus execution on value delivered — not merely "on time, on budget."

Ten things not to do


Bottom performers

Top performers

1. Decline to use Twitter to engage with customers (top performers also expect use of Twitter to increase over the next 12 months (28% compared to 10% of bottom performers)

50% 80%

2. Don’t plan to collect more customer data in the next year (Figures relate to those planning to collect more)

44% 66%

3. Don’t have a robust corporate strategy that will deliver likely success (Figures relate to those strongly disagreeing that their organization has such a strategy)

13% 3%

4. Fail to communicate the strategy across the organization (Figures relate to those strongly disagreeing or disagreeing that the strategy is well communicated throughout the organization)

35% 9%

5. Lack a shared understanding between business and IT leaders (Figures relate to those strongly agreeing or agreeing that there is a shared detailed understanding)

33% 69%

6. Not act as an active champion of IT to achieve strategy (Figures relate to those strongly disagreeing or disagreeing that the CEO is an active champion of it)

29% 6%

7. Decline to use IT to support growth initiatives and leverage emerging innovations (Figures relate to those strongly agreeing or agreeing that their it investments are primarily made for this purpose)

35% 65%

8. Let the CIO report to anyone other than the CEO (Figures relate to those stating that the CIO reports the the CEO)

44% 73%

9. Have a CIO who is not perceived as a champion of the growth agenda (Figures relate to those stating that their CIO is a champion)

13% 47%

10. Don’t have strong working relationships between the CIO and other business leaders (Figures relate to those stating that the relationship between the CIO and CEO is strong or very strong - significant defferences are also apparent between other relationships)

36% 72%

Base: 48 (Bottom performers, all those who stated that their IT initiatives were never or almost never completed on time, on budget and in scope)

Base: 109 (Top performers, all those who stated that their IT initiatives were always or frequently completed on time, on budget and in scope)

*Caution: some bases < 30

Significant differences

Chris Curran
Chris Curran
Principal and Chief Technologist
Tel: +1 (214) 754-5055
Tom DeGarmo
Tom DeGarmo
Principal and Technology Consulting Leader
Tel: +1 (267) 330-2658
Dr. John Sviokla
John Sviokla
Head of Global Thought Leadership
Tel: +1 (617) 530 5359
Ed Yu
Ed Yu
Tel: +1 (415) 498 6408

Schedule a meeting with our team to discuss the findings

Research Methodology

The 4th annual Digital IQsurvey was conducted by PwC’s International Survey Unit (ISU)

  • 450 online responses were achieved from US companies with annual revenues of more than $500 million (with an emphasis on those with $1 billion+ in revenue)
  • This was supplemented by 39 responses from contacts supplied by PwC’s Diamond Advisory Services, giving 489 responses in total
  • The target sample was 450 completes with an even split between IT and business leaders
  • A broad spread by industry sector was also achieved

Download the report

4th Annual Digital IQ Survey

The 4th Annual Digital IQ Survey includes respondents from nearly 500 US companies about the current state of their technology-related activities and plans for the future

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