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Is It In the Best Interest of Your Company to Become a Digital Leader?


Author: Adrian Velez, HP Enterprise Group – Content Strategist


Is your organization a digital leader or a digital follower? If you’re not leading yet, your company may not be completely ready to embrace the new style of IT – big data, cloud, social and mobile technologies – and may be missing out on better business outcomes, profitability and customer service.


According to a recent research from HP1, those companies that are more advanced digital adopters, and are categorized as digital leaders, benefit from business outcomes that are more germane to the business--more than so-called laggard firms. In fact, firms on a more advanced journey of digital adoption believe the use of digital technologies can improve traditional business activities across the board and are seeing results from that use.


For instance, when asked about the business outcomes that they had achieved from implementation of digital technologies, those senior IT executives and decision makers categorized as leaders reported increased market share (41%), increased profitability (46%) and cost reduction (47%). This was in stark contrast to those survey respondents who were categorized as mainstreamers or laggards. Only 35 percent of mainstreamers and 18 percent of laggards reported increased market share due to the implementation of digital technologies. Only 28 and 26 percent of laggards, respectively, saw increased profitability and cost reductions. 1


It’s not enough to just be innovative today, either. Leading firms understand that constant change can bring success. Indeed, nearly a quarter (22%) of CIOs categorized as leaders say the IT function needs to be “completely different” in five years. Only 7 and 8 percent of mainstreamers and laggards, respectively, agreed with this statement. 1


Becoming a Digital Leader


This may be because leaders’ adoption of digital technology lets them become more agile and compete better as opposed to peers. It also helps them sync with the line of business. Leaders and the business agreed (78 and 77 percent respectively) that changes and continuous improvements can help a company’s strategy. The two were also on the same page when it came to how IT improvements can help with skill sets, budgeting, organizational structure and leadership. 1


This is in stark contrast to the fact that 41 percent of laggards are content with their IT operations despite the fact that 21 percent said the same systems are hindering differentiation. And yet leading firms have seen that their IT functions provide the business with the tools, technologies and reliability that it takes to be category and vertical leaders. For example, nearly all (97%) leaders surveyed said that their IT departments were agile and able to react to changes quickly. More important, the same number of respondents said that their IT functionality provided exceptional reliability of service. 1


When the line of business is comfortable with what IT is giving it – and when that service lets the business innovate and provide exceptional customer service – IT has an easier time getting projects approved as well as getting a seat at the table. Explains Jordan Whitmarsh, Worldwide Mobility and Workplace Strategist for HP Technology Services Consulting: “The new style of IT is a concept which is fundamental when it comes to transforming the way that you provide business services.”


The main takeaway from the research? Digital leaders are unique – they are endlessly seeking out new ways to use new technology to solve business problems. They are most likely to declare that differentiating their IT infrastructure is synonymous with making their company more competitive. Checkout HP’s Insights: 2015 Infrastructure Imperatives for best practices on how to move to the new style of IT.


[1] HP Research, 2015 Report: Profiling Infrastructure Leaders, February 2015


Insights: 2015 Infrastructure Imperatives


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