PwC's Digital IQ Survey Finds Companies with Strong Collaboration Between the C-suite and CIO are Four Times as likely to be Top Performers

Digital IQ starts with strong, engaged, systematic 'digital conversations' among the leadership team; those with the strongest Digital IQ look to information technology for its power to alter business models and create new ones

Feb 12, 2013, 09:00 ET from PwC US

NEW YORK, Feb 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The fifth annual Digital IQ survey released today by PwC US finds that companies with strong, collaborative relationships between the CIO and other C-suite executives are four times as likely to be top performing companies as those with fragmented relationships.


According to PwC, a strong Digital IQ—which is a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology and weave it into the fabric of their organization—entails more than adopting the latest tools or having a large IT budget. It is about consistently linking IT investments to business strategy to improve speed, agility and competitive advantage. It is about integrating 'digital conversations' into every aspect of the business. Those with the strongest Digital IQ look to information technology for its power to alter business models and create new ones.  

"It is no wonder that those firms that have a better Digital IQ can deliver and innovate in a world where the rapid pace of technology is fundamentally reshaping global commerce," said Chris Curran, a PwC principal and Chief Technologist for the US firm's Advisory practice.

"Digital IQ is about the CIO orchestrating rather than owning conversations. Social media, mobile channels and data analytics, along with the cloud, are making new business and operating models possible. Because enterprise responsibility lives across the C-suite for these issues, collaborative digital conversations are critical to bring it all together and evaluate and adopt these technologies."

The survey findings show companies with strong, collaborative C-suite relationships act differently and think together from strategy through execution. These 'Strong Collaborators':

  • Have a single multi-year roadmap for the business strategy, and an explicit process to link the business strategy to the IT roadmap
  • Are more aggressive in IT capital spending to support strategic corporate initiatives, such as new geographic markets, new product and service development, M&A, joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Have more aggressive investment in emerging technologies including: mobile, social, big data and cloud
  • More likely have everything on a mobile platform
  • Are more aggressive in leveraging mobile and social technologies for employees and customers
  • Often have more explicit approaches to organize, manage—and measure—innovation
  • Recognize differences in IT needs, e.g. among different generations of employees

"Companies with higher Digital IQs think differently about their IT strategy, opportunities, and risks," said Tom DeGarmo, principal and US and Global Technology Consulting Leader at PwC. "Organizations with collaborative C-suite relationships have a shared understanding of corporate strategy between IT and business leaders and understand costs to implement that strategy."

"Strong Collaborator" organizations generate better results across the company, according to PwC. Their IT initiatives are more likely to be delivered on time, at or below budget, and within 100 percent of the planned project scope. They also more frequently cite 2012 total revenue growth of more than 25 percent and are more likely to be confident in revenue growth, profitability, and market share. Organizations identified as top performers reported revenue growth of more than 5 percent and said that their companies are in the top quartile for revenue, profitability and innovation.

"Top performers view their CEO as a champion of IT who remains actively involved from strategy through execution and more often view capital IT investments as a means to support growth initiatives and leverage emerging technologies," commented John Sviokla, principal at PwC.

"PwC can help companies identify the disconnect between IT strategy and corporate strategy; identify how frequently digital conversations are taking place in the C-Suite; identify how effectively the company is leveraging emerging technologies to support strategic business objectives; and identify how well a company understands and is planning for opportunities and risks surrounding mobile, social, cloud, and big data," added Curran. "It's about understanding what the available technologies – which are continuously evolving – can do for you and choosing the right ones for your business."

To learn more about PwC's fifth annual Digital IQ Survey, please visit  

About the Survey
The fifth annual Digital IQ survey was conducted in the second half of 2012 by PwC's International Survey Unit (ISU). For the first time, Digital IQ was a global survey with 1,108 respondents from 12 countries.  Answers were aggregated for reporting purposes into the Americas (US and Brazil), Europe (UK, France, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, and Sweden), and Asia Pac (Australia, Japan, China, and India). Survey respondents were evenly divided between IT and business leaders; more than three-fourths work in organizations with revenues of $1 billion plus.

About PwC's Advisory Practice
PwC's Advisory professionals help organizations improve business performance, respond quickly and effectively to crisis, and extract value from transactions. We understand our clients' industries and unique business challenges, and look across the entire organization — focusing on strategy, structure, people, process and technology — to help clients build their next competitive advantage.  See for more information or follow us @PwCAdvisory.

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