With 37% of efficiency seekers equating digital with IT, there’s a disconnect between mindset and results. Efficiencies have helped wring profits and secure revenue, but the big prize will be in the full realization of digital. Capitalize by working smarter, not just faster. Evolve digital beyond software, hardware and technical tools into a way of operating and encouraging innovation across the organization.
85% of efficiency seekers say employee experience is critical to business performance and 88% have an executive in charge of customer and employee experience – yet 58% said interdepartmental hurdles are a major barrier to managing these experiences. Commitment to employee and customer experience pays off.
Involve employees in important decisions to better equip them with the right tools they need to do their job. Provide constant training and opportunities to learn. Next, break down barriers by creating cross-department teams. You’ll boost motivation, tap into new thinking and allow your workforce to deliver better customer experiences that drive greater profitability.
Many efficiency seekers have already faced disruptive skirmishes and have emerged intact. But they could be more vulnerable than they think in the future. Disruption is a shift in relative profitability from one prevailing business model to another. The dominant companies, accustomed to the old approach, lose market share to a new group of companies. Overlooking those outside competitors increases efficiency seekers’ vulnerability. The business landscape isn’t just filled with companies whose known competitors bested them with digital acumen, it’s also filling up with start-ups and competitors from outside who are poised to exploit an unfilled or uncreated customer need. In today’s market, you can see this in pockets of healthcare, where the biggest digital disruption is just as likely to come from new, unexpected players as it is from within.
Embrace the promise of digital—that is, new ways of solving problems, creating new experiences and accelerating business performance. Make better use of big data to help inform decisions and refocus on external competitors to seek new ideas and identify potential threats. Don’t count on legacy strengths or efficient operations as a hedge for the next wave of disruption. The time to prepare is always now. Shift the responsibility for setting digital strategy away from just the CTO or CISO and toward the CEO; 38% of top financial performers in the survey do so already while only 17% of efficiency seekers do.
Only 55% of efficiency seekers say their leaders are digitally savvy and help employees think in new ways. That could be in part because just 23% of CEOs say they interact with AI tools regularly and only 49% use their company’s customer relationship management software.
Being digitally fit starts at the top. Emulate digital behaviors: further incorporate human-centered design and agile management into everyday process and make cross-functional teams a part of how you do business.
70% of efficiency seekers say they arm their workforce with the tools they need to work smarter. A focus on user experience and human-centered design is paying off with better employee and customer experience. And one-third say the largest share of their digital budget has gone toward creating a more digitally savvy workforce. But, there’s a disconnect: skills around emerging tech like AI are sorely underdeveloped.
The skills at the intersection of technology and innovation can propel efficiency seekers forward. 82% of top-performing companies report paying close attention to the human experience around digital and tech. But traditional training programs are missing the mark. Instead, focus on new tools and learning plans that push toward new ways of learning and working--across departments and silos.
Efficiency seekers have many of the right digital tools and behaviors in place and many have found financial success. Their CEOs are champions for digital and their companies are focused on experience and working smart. But there are signs that this won’t be enough in the long run. Nearly one-third say profit margins have been flat the last three years; 13% say they’ve declined.
Efficiency seekers should evolve their definitions of digital, prepare for the next wave of disruption and move beyond the obvious emerging tech and skills they’re developing to be ready for what’s next. To face their next disruptive battle boldly, they’ll need to broaden their view of digital and instead adopt a mindset where digital is woven through every area of the business.
Click on an aspiration to see how each group is managing digital experience, disruption, leadership and workforce--and the financial impact of those decisions.