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Benchmarking competencies for digital performance

  • Written by AGNES ODWYER


New Economist Intelligent Unit Study Highlights Lack of Digital Competencies as Key Barrier to Success for Global Businesses

  • 87% of APAC senior business and government leaders say digital competencies are either very or extremely important to achieving their organisational goals, according to a new Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) survey, commissioned by Riverbed Technology.
  • However, notable digital-competency gaps exist. 61% of APAC respondents say their organisations are struggling to achieve important goals because they lack key digital competencies. An even higher percentage (67%) say these gaps have negatively impacted user experience.
  • IT departments need to evolve in order to keep pace with digital transformation. 78% of global high-performing organisations say their top digital competency for achieving goals is modernisation and transformation of IT infrastructure.

 

SYDNEY, MAY 1, 2019— Digital competencies have become vital to achieving business goals, according to new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In Benchmarking competencies for digital performance, commissioned by Riverbed, 87% of Asia Pacific respondents see digital competencies as being either very or extremely important in achieving, among other things, revenue growth, service quality, mission delivery, profit growth/cost reduction, user experience and customer satisfaction.

The study is based on a survey of more than 500 senior business and government leaders across North America, EMEA and APAC, focused on assessing nine behaviours, skills and abilities that help organisations improve their digital performance and, ultimately, achieve their objectives. Accompanying the study is a digital competency assessment tool, which enables users to benchmark their organisation’s competencies and performance against all survey respondents. The tool can be accessed at https://digitalcompetency.economist.com/.

The survey uncovers a shared awareness among businesses that digital transformation is necessary to achieve their goals and remain competitive. Yet, 61% of APAC organisations say they are struggling to achieve these important goals because they lack digital competencies, which is higher than organisations in North America (54%) and EMEA (56%). In particular, 67% of APAC respondents say that their digital-competency gaps have negatively affected user experience, which explains why almost half of respondents say they need to significantly improve digital experience management.

The central importance that companies place on improved digital competency comes despite the fact that some firms are yet to achieve meaningful results. Over 41% of APAC organisations surveyed report only neutral or no measurable benefits from their digital strategies.

In terms of overcoming this capability gap, the IT function plays a pivotal role. Businesses are aware that IT must be agile, as 57% cite IT infrastructure modernisation and transformation as their top digital competency for achieving their goals. In addition, enabling greater communication and collaboration between IT and the rest of the organisation (where digital competencies may be scarce) can significantly improve digital performance and user experience.

Globally, high performers believe a continual focus is also vital, with fully 57% of them committed to improving all digital competencies, compared with 44% of all APAC respondents. Unlike other respondents, high performers also use a wider approach to developing digital competencies, including establishing a cross-functional digital competency centre of excellence and/or appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Robert Powell, Editorial Director of EIU Thought Leadership (Americas), says: “The study shows a clear consensus among respondents that improving digital competency is vital for boosting organisational performance, even if some are not yet witnessing the results. Nevertheless, among the highest performing, the lessons are clear—do not hesitate, encourage internal collaboration, and, even if you feel ahead of your competition, never stop looking over your shoulder.”

Keith Buckley, Vice President, ANZ and ASEAN at Riverbed Technology says: “The survey results echo what we’re hearing from businesses and government leaders across the region every day: there’s a sense of urgency around addressing digital-competency gaps to fully deliver on their digital transformation efforts. The findings reinforce that leading organizations can remain a step ahead of their competitors - and maximize digital performance - by prioritizing investments in tools to measure, monitor, and improve the end-user experience as well as in IT infrastructure modernization.” 

About Riverbed

Riverbed®, The Digital Performance Company™, is united in our purpose of Advancing the Human Experience in the Digital World.  Behind every digital experience is a human one, and Riverbed enables organizations to measure digital experiences and maximise digital performance so they can deliver better and more powerful human experiences— for customers, employees, partners, patients, and citizens. Riverbed’s Digital Performance Platform includes a combination of Digital Experience Management and Next-Generation Infrastructure solutions that ensure superior digital and user experiences, provides new levels of operational agility and accelerates business outcomes. Riverbed’s 30,000+ customers include 100% of the Forbes Global 100. Learn more at riverbed.com

 

Riverbed and any Riverbed product or service name or logo used herein are trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.

 

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The EIU is the thought leadership, research and analysis division of The Economist Group and the world leader in global business intelligence for executives. We uncover novel and forward-looking perspectives with access to over 650 expert analysts and editors across 200 countries worldwide. More information can be found on www.eiuperspectives.economist.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook

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