Amazing things happen when IT and business managers work together. Here is the data to prove it

Over the past two years, businesses of all types and sizes have relied on their IT teams not only to help them overcome the challenges of COVID, but also to give them hope for a better future. . It means now.

Wonderful things are happening. Businesses appreciate the power of IT. This is now evident through a report released by PwC, which shows positive correlations when IT and business professionals put their heads together.

PwC survey, based on responses from 1,040 business leaders and 210 IT managers, finds “digital IQ leaders” more likely to invest in cloud technologies, including enterprise applications , infrastructure and development platforms. These digital IQ leaders represent about one-fifth of all technical executives surveyed; PwC defines them as leaders “who agree with their peers. ”

“[Digital IQ leaders] has also invested significantly in process automation, putting the tools in the hands of employees to get things done faster, leaving more time to spend on value-driven and information-driven work, ”reports Jenny Koehler, PwC partner and author of the report.

Cloud investments
Leaders in digital IQ 65%
All other 33%
Adopt new technologies for internal use
Digital IQ leaders 40%
All other 25%
Back-office process
Digital IQ leaders 40%
All other 33%
Front-office process
Digital IQ leaders 28%
All other 19%

Source: PwC

These investments have paid off, as the PwC survey shows. Digital IQ leaders are more likely to see improved financial performance, as well as greater innovation and productivity.

Revenue growth of over 5% over the past three years
Digital IQ leaders 35%
All other 27%
Time devoted to innovation
Digital IQ leaders 68%
All other 54%
Employee productivity
Digital IQ leaders 77%
All other 57%
Create better customer experiences
Digital IQ leaders 79%
All other 64%
Improve business continuity
Digital IQ leaders 67%
All other 53%

Source: PwC

Another way that IT managers can step in is by helping their organizations adopt a platform strategy, which unlocks value creation beyond the walls of the company. In the digital world of the 2020s, more value comes from outside the business – from partners – made possible by the right technology framework, write Marshall W. Van Alstyne and Geoffrey G. Parker in Harvard Business Review.

This emerging model, which the co-authors call a “reverse business,” relies on a platform strategy. It means “providing the tools and the market to help partners grow. In contrast, incumbents typically use digital transformation to improve the efficiency of their current operations.”

How can this be resolved? “Digital investments must prepare the business to partner with users, developers and marketers, at scale, with a focus on value creation, which is the foundation for business reversal. . “

Van Alstyne and Parker cite a study of 179 companies which confirms the effectiveness of this inverted model. Companies that have used application programming interfaces (APIs) to open up services to external partners or customers “have grown an average of 38% over 16 years.”

“As an interface technology, APIs allow companies to modularize their systems for easy replacement and upgrades,” Van Alstyne and Parker explain. “APIs also serve as an ‘authorization’ technology that grants outsiders carefully measured access to internal resources. These functions not only allow a business to quickly reconfigure systems in response to problems and opportunities, but also allow outsiders to rely on the company’s digital real estate. . ”

Moving forward into the digitally driven 2020s means executives, managers and IT professionals will take on clear leadership roles within their companies. Their business leaders expect no less.

Based on the results of these surveys, which reflect the gains that IT teams can bring, industry analysts make the following recommendations:

Engage the whole company well beyond IT

“Tech leaders should proactively engage their peers,” urges PwC’s Koehler. Call on “financial, operational, risk and tax managers.” Engage with security and risk managers early on so that security, compliance and governance are built into the fabric of your cloud transformation, building trust with your customers ”.

Take advantage of the network effect

“Among reverse businesses, the network effects that arise when partners create value for each other are a major source of growth in intangibles,” Van Alstyne and Parker say. “Adding the ability to coordinate the creation and exchange of value – user-to-user, partner-to-partner, and partner-to-user – is one way traditional businesses are transforming. It also provides the means to evolve. Turning atoms into bits improves margins and range. . Transforming from the inside out magnifies ideas and resources. ”

Build a new story of value as cloud adoption accelerates

“Align the cloud promise with stakeholders in your business who reflect the industry you operate in and where you are on your journey,” says Koehler. “It requires making specific choices about how the cloud will help differentiate the business: what digital and technological capabilities you’ll develop, the customer issues you’ll solve, and the role your business plays in the industry or industry. other ecosystems. “

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