Top Performing Companies Have Executives Who Collaborate the Most with IT

4 minute read
Anthony Myers avatar

Executive teams who collaborate the most across the board room, and include IT, are four times more likely to be top performers, a Pricewaterhousecoopers report has found.

Researchers surveyed over 1,100 senior executives in the PwC Digital IQ study, and the most collaborative teams were also in the top quartile of revenue and innovation, and reported growth of 5% or more in the previous year. These top performing companies combine their business and IT strategies better than competitors, and adapt more quickly to market changes, lead author Chriss Curran wrote in the report.

Editor's Note: Check out: Collaboration Isn't Working: What We Have Here is a Chasm

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Top performing companies often were identified as being strong collaborators, and these groups scored the highest on the survey. Strong collaborators scored 4.5 out of 5 or better among relationship pairs with members of the c-suite. Other respondents scored lower than 4.5, and in total, there were 148 strong collaborators compared to 953 other respondents.

Strong collaborators as a group are compared repeatedly to the other respondents on how they invest in new technology, how well they deliver on business strategy and on key performance indicators. Obviously, this isn't a scientific study, but we felt the trends displayed in the survey results were indeed noteworthy.

In order to be a top performer, strong collaborators often invest more aggressively in social, mobile and cloud technology compared to other respondents, the report found. Additionally, IT projects were more likely to be on time, on budget and within the initial scope. Because technology is an amplifier of business performance, executives who integrate things like social into the business strategy will be able to build a superior and sustainable edge over their competitors.

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A continuous dialogue across the enterprise ensures executive agreement and collaborative action on IT and business strategies.

Innovation + Shared Understanding of Risk

Other benefits of broad executive collaboration were the ability to identify the best opportunities for business growth over the next 12 months, such as new product or service development. Strong collaborators pointed to those new initiates for growth, while the other respondents pointed to to organic growth in domestic markets, the report found.

This suggests strong collaborators are quicker to deploy new products because of their higher digital IQ. They are simply more responsive to customers and to the market. Furthermore, a solid understanding of IT allows strong collaborators to be better at knowing tech related issues like basic infrastructure, but also how to turn key data into real insight.

Strong collaborators had better strategic road maps and they better align IT investments with business goals. Eighty percent of strong collaborators agree their CEO is a champion of IT vs 54% for others. In turn, those companies with high digital iqs invested more in mobile (61% for strong collaborators compared to 51% of others), and those companies interacted more with their customers via mobile (73% compared to 43%)

Innovation wise, strong collaborators have specific approaches like a dedicated group or just in time team around 50% of the time. For other respondents, that number was just 36%. Strong collaborators were more likely to say tech innovations were driven through IT strategic planning 53% to 37%. They just get more stuff to market faster.

Because only about 15% of the companies in the survey were identified as strong collaborators, most companies have lots of work to do. CEOs need to be champions of IT, and the company road map simply has to blend technology, strategy and operations, the report suggested.

Let us know in the comments if you've had the pleasure of working on a strong collaborative team and how it drove company principles.