​Digital investments on the rise, but what does it mean for business?

"Everyone talks about digital, but few understand the specific leadership behaviours that drive performance.”

Digital investments are on the rise and spread more widely throughout organisations than ever before, according to PwC’s 2015 Digital IQTM Survey report.

The report, PwC’s seventh annual, explores the ability of organisations to use technology to drive business value.

In this year’s study of nearly 2,000 executives across 51 countries - split equally among business and IT executives - PwC identified 10 critical behaviours that translate directly to strong revenue growth and profit margin.

Companies responding to the Digital IQ survey with the highest scores across the 10 behaviours are 50 percent more likely to achieve rapid revenue growth and twice as likely to achieve rapid profit growth when compared to the remaining Digital IQ respondents.

“Everyone talks about digital, but few understand the specific leadership behaviours that drive performance,” says Chris Curran, Advisory principal and chief technologist, PwC.

“We are seeing signs this is changing, with leading digital practitioners looking to how today’s investments can improve tomorrow’s business results. This is a critical mindset, especially as digital technologies become more pervasive.”

Executives are seeking more strategic value from digital investments, with 45 percent stating that their number-one expectation from these investments is revenue growth, followed by 25 percent seeking better customer experiences and 12 percent aiming for improved profitability.

Further solidifying the correlation companies are seeing between digital and business success, 31 percent of global respondents stated they are investing more than 15 percent of revenue into digital investments.

Overall, companies are prioritising their investments in order to drive revenue and profit growth, but only within the confines of their existing business models.

Only 1 percent of executives said their number-one expectation for digital was to disrupt their own or other industries. Instead, executives are seeking immediate returns.

In a continuation of a multi-year trend, more CEOs are leading the digital charge, setting the tone for their entire organisations that digital is essential.

The CIO’s role also continues to change, from predominantly leading all internal and external digital efforts today (at 40 percent) to an expected drop-off in three years’ time (to 35 percent).

A majority (65 percent) of respondents indicate the CIO’s key responsibilities in three years’ time will be limited to all internal IT efforts or all internal IT efforts in combination with innovation.

Now in its seventh year, PwC’s Digital IQ survey tracks best practices and evolving attitudes and priorities regarding digital technologies around the world.

Digital IQ is an annual survey to assess how well companies understand the value of technology and weave it into the fabric of their organisation.

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