PwC has been conducting its Global Digital IQ® Survey annually since 2007. Worryingly, in its tenth anniversary edition the firm notes that digital IQ (defined as “the measurement of an organisation’s abilities to harness and profit from technology”) is actually in decline. In fact, “Enterprises aren’t so much falling behind as struggling to keep up with accelerating standards.” Clearly this is a big topic and more than we can cover in one blog, but there are some key ways to close the digital gap and embed the latest technology in your organisation.
Focus on the human experience
In its 2017 publication PwC posits that the key to unlocking value from technology is to focus on the human experience. Whether employee or customer, using technology to enhance user experience will make a bigger impact on both performance and profits. With so much fast-moving technology available to us, it can be difficult to decide where to invest and what to ignore, but the evidence suggests that using human experience as the touchstone of digital IQ will keep you on the right track.
Find and address the skills gap
From digital champions at the top of the business (CEO, CIO or even a CXO – chief experience officer) to digital-literate employees at every level, your team needs to have the skills to identify the technologies and digital solutions which will improve the daily lives of staff and customers. In most organisations, even the most digital-literate, there will be skills gaps to address, so map out where your digital IQ is falling short and train, recruit or outsource to fill the void.
By creating an environment of collaboration you will be better able to harness the collective skills and experience of your team and commercial partners, so think creatively about how you can put together cross-functional teams of innovators and problem solvers. Whether they work together virtually or physically, a successful group collaboration will be greater than the sum of its parts. There are affordable technologies – such as apps – which can facilitate such an approach and make it simple to share ideas and measure opinion.
Keep an eye on the future
Perhaps the biggest challenge for boosting your digital IQ is the skill of seeing around the corner and identifying the next big technology advances. The pace of change has never been faster so most organisations are running to keep up rather than sprinting ahead of the pack. PwC recommends making emerging tech a priority, from getting the board excited about the latest tech kit to appointing an emerging tech specialist: “While emerging technology needs broad support, it also needs a single individual who has ownership over your emerging tech initiatives. At the same time, the emerging tech leader can’t go it alone. He or she will need to rely on the expertise of other executives, as your organization thinks about applying emerging technology to solve business problems. Identify those at all levels and in all functions who are passionate about different technologies, and create a team responsible for emerging tech scouting and experimenting.”
Enhancing your organisation’s digital IQ is the kind of business challenge which can make your head spin, but the worst thing you can do is ignore it. We are adept at helping clients use technology to solve their business problems so, as a first step, pick up the phone to us and talk through the issues. The number to call is 020 7378 1446.
You can find the latest PwC Global Digital IQ® Survey here.