Defining digital transformation strategy: Priorities and vision

The ADBL Digiskills Report shows a lack of effective communication hinders the implementation of digital transformation strategy at organisations, despite a clear digital vision being set in 38% of businesses.

38% of the respondents in the ADBL Digiskills Report report that a clear digital vision has been set by their top leadership.

But of greater interest is that a clear digital vision being set is highly correlated with digital usage within these organisations, similar to how we have seen it is with digital literacy elsewhere in the Digiskills Report (page 7 of the report).

A lack of effective communication of the digital transformation strategy's vision and priorities.

Setting a clear digital vision is not enough, it needs to be clearly and effectively communicated throughout the organisation to be fully aligned with the digital transformation strategy.

But while a clear digital vision has been set at 38% of organisations, just 25% of respondents think that everyone within their organisation can state what the main digital priorities of that vision are.

This depicts an obstruction in the communication of the digital vision from top down: the result of an inability amongst the wider organisation to fully understand the vision, a failure from top leadership to communicate their vision clearly, or a combination of both thaty hinders the digital transformation strategy.


Organisations are almost twice as likely to make use of split tests to enhance productivity

A properly communicated digital transformation strategy means organisations are more likely to use split tests

When a clear digital vision has been set and communicated by an organisation’s top leadership as part of the digital transformation strategy, 35.6% agree that their organisation makes use of split tests, while 17.7% disagree.

Optimising processes with behavioural and predictive analytics is three times as likely

Use of behavioural and predictive analytics is more likely when a digital transformation vision has been communicated effectively.

34.7% agree that their organisation uses behavioural and predictive analytics when a clear digital vision has been set and communicated by their top leadership, while 10.1% disagree.

Senior teams are twice as likely to receive daily updates on their organisation’s performance through automation

Senior teams tracking performance with automated daily updates is more likely with a properly communicated transformation strategy.

With a clear digital vision set by top leadership as part of the digital transformation strategy, 32.7% agree that their senior teams make use of automated daily updates on their team’s performance, while 15.2% disagree.

Perceptions of digital literacy at organisations

Whether this obstruction in the communication of digital strategy is fully recognised by senior leadership remains in question: compared to those in roles with lower seniority, director and board level executives consistently report their organisation’s wider digital capabilities to be higher, as shown in the table below.

Higher seniority and lower seniority consistently disagree on the digital capability of their organisations.

While this could be interpreted as either director and board levels overstating their organisation’s digital capability, or lower seniority levels understating it, what is clear is that it corroborates the lack of effective communication regarding digital capability discussed earlier.

Senior leadership report wider spread digital usage than those in less senior roles

In addition, when asked if they agree their organisation uses technology such as cloud, mobile, connected devices, or artificial intelligence, director and board level executives shared a higher level of agreement than those being questioned in less senior roles.

Senior levels believe their organisations to make wider use of digital than those in lower level roles.

In fact, those in director and board level positions are more optimistic that their entire organisation can state the digital priorities they have laid out, signalling a lack of effective communication surrounding digital both from the top down, and the bottom up.

Senior leadership believe a higher proportion of their organisations can state their digital transformation strategy's priorities.

Just one-third of organisations seeking greater digital transformation measure the financial impact of it

Just 33% of organisations measure the financial impact of digital transformation; 30% measure their ability to rapidly adapt; 33% the changes to their organisational culture; and 31% their digital skills and capabilities.

Without measuring all of these, it is impossible for an organisation to fully gauge the impact of their digital transformation strategy, whether their strategy is working, or even if the strategy they have embarked upon is beneficial at all.

But with that said, 85% of organisations measure at least one of the metrics mentioned, as shown below.

While more digital transformation metrics could be measured, a high proportion of organisations measure at least one metric.

Although these organisations would likely further the impact of their digital transformation strategy by expanding the number of key metrics they measure, this represents recognition that digital transformation needs to be tracked.

Only this way can efforts be honed in order to better understand customers, organisational abilities, and how to adapt to increase productivity.

A benchmarking, industry-wide report on digital capability, the ADBL Digiskills Report surveyed 263 executives to offer a snapshot of the current state of organisations seeking to become more digitally capable. Claim your complimentary copy of the report.


Stephanie Khan

Posted March 9, 2016