MOONLIGHT CAST AND CREW, LA LA LAND CAST AND CREW at the The 89th Oscars(r) broadcasts
Could a little more technology have prevented PwC's "human error" at the Academy Awards this week? PHOTO: Disney | ABC Television Group

Fewer technology executives today than two years ago believe their organizations profit from technology, according to research released today by PwC.

Researchers at PwC — the brand name of PricewaterhouseCoopers — surveyed more than 2,200 executives from 53 countries, mostly from organizations with at least $1 billion in yearly revenue. Only 52 percent of the respondents reported their organizations have a strong or very strong "Digital IQ," down from 67 percent in 2015 and 66 percent in 2014.

PwC defines "Digital IQ" as a measure of an organization’s abilities to harness and profit from technology.

Before we discuss the findings of PwC's 10th annual Global Digital IQ Survey, it seems prudent to address the elephant in the room ... the fact that PwC itself could have benefitted from a little more technology this week.

PwC, which oversees the voting for the Academy Awards, mistakenly allowed the best picture Oscar to go to “La La Land” Sunday night when “Moonlight” was the real winner. A PwC spokesperson blamed the flub on human error: one of the two accountants in charge of Oscars vote counting mistakenly handed actor Warren Beatty the wrong envelope.

A little more technology — can anyone say "automation?" — might have saved PwC from a lot of brand damage. But we digress ...

Global Digital IQ Survey

Chris Curran
Chris Curran

PwC's Digital IQ Survey seeks to assess how businesses leverage technology in their approach to digital transformation.

"As more leaders across the C-suite enter the digital conversation, they are beginning to realize they have a way to go with respect to their organization’s digital capabilities," Chris Curran, chief technologist at PwC, told CMSWire. "This is when reality sets in."

The report found the most common obstacles to digital success are:

  • Lack of support in organization (76 percent)
  • Lack of clarity on roles/responsibilities (72 percent)
  • Ineffective management (71 percent)
  • Ineffective talent (66 percent)

Only 52 percent of respondents said digital projects are delivered within scope and on time.

changing definitions of digital

So who's to blame? Let's start at the top: 68 percent of respondents said their CEO championed digital. That leaves a third of organizations that don't feel their CEO has a solid imprint on digital efforts. Many respondents also said other senior executives remain disengaged from digital transformations.

“Digital IQ has a completely different meaning today than it had when we started this research a decade ago,” Curran said. “Today the spectrum and diversity of technologies available to enterprise leaders is immense, and all members of the C-Suite need to understand what technology best fits their strategy and what makes the most sense as an investment."

3 Key Takeaways

Define digital through powerful perspectives: Conduct a strategy session with functional and business unit leaders to define and expand your organization’s view of digital. Together you will develop a shared perspective on digital priorities, backed up by the leadership and organizational roles needed to drive the effort.

Take stock of your digital technology investments: Understand what departments and functions beyond IT are investing in technology and how each investment ties back to your digital roadmap.

Sustain the digital dialogue: Start at the top but then ensure the rest of the organization also understands how technology will be used to change the way they work or deliver value.