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Is Your Business Ready for a Digital Future?

Book Description

Successfully incorporating today’s digital technologies requires companies to work in new ways. To explore how digital technologies are changing the way companies do business, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte surveyed more than 4,800 respondents and interviewed 19 business and thought leaders. The central question the authors asked: How are companies using digital technologies — such as social media, data and analytics, mobile devices and cloud computing — to compete and operate differently? Using results from these quantitative and qualitative data, the authors provide insights on the state of digital business and what managers need to know and do to navigate and benefit from these trends. A key concept behind this research is digital business maturity. The authors asked survey respondents to “imagine an ideal organization transformed by digital technologies and capabilities that improve processes, engage talent across the organization, and drive new and value-generating business models” and then to rate their company against that ideal on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the closest to the ideal). Forty-five percent of respondents placed their companies in the middle or “developing” group (ratings 4-6), while 29% put their companies in the higher “maturing” category (ratings 7-10). The remaining 26% placed their companies in the lower “early” group (ratings 1-3). Perhaps the main insight is that the key drivers of digital transformation are not the digital technologies themselves but business factors — in particular, strategy, culture and talent development. Effective digital strategies are less about acquiring and implementing the right technology than about reconfiguring the business to take advantage of the information these technologies enable. The authors found that the objectives of a company’s digital strategy also differ depending on digital maturity. The vast majority of companies surveyed want to use digital technologies to improve customer interactions. What differentiates the most mature companies, however, is a willingness to use digital to transform their business more broadly. Respondents expressed a strong preference for working for a digitally mature company. However, a surprisingly high number of employees were dissatisfied with how their companies were reacting to digital trends overall.