Are IP companies being short-sighted in their digital efforts?

February 16, 2016



Top-performing industrial products companies take a deliberate but inclusive approach to their digital strategy and execution.

PwC’s 2016 Digital IQ survey shows that since last year, industrial products (IP) companies have become much savvier in their use of technology. This is a good thing because digital IQ leaders in the industry are twice as likely to achieve rapid revenue and profit growth as are companies with lower digital IQs.

Our survey examined how global companies can make the most of their digital investments, and included input from 2,000 business and technology executives from 51 countries. A significant number, 409 respondents, came from industrial products companies.

Our findings identified critical attributes that drive stronger digital performance. Top-performing companies are more deliberate in their digital strategy, innovation, and execution. They are more likely to have CEO commitment, strategic clarity, and shared understanding. They take a broad view when applying technology and identifying sources of innovation, looking outside their companies and industries for good ideas. They use their data to turn them into useful information. They are proactive about cybersecurity and consistent in measuring how their digital investments are doing.

We also uncovered several important trends about the role of digital investments. By and large, companies are investing in technology to grow their current business, but still do not see the role of digital in helping to deal with disruptive forces, such as how products are ordered, made, and delivered and how to navigate newer, more nimble and innovative competitors. And they are facing climate change and demographic and geopolitical shifts that will impact businesses worldwide.

Disruption is upon us. It’s happening everywhere. This means companies cannot work incrementally. Instead, they must start thinking and acting more like a startup.  They need to figure out how to be more agile and flexible, so they can change more easily to deal with upcoming disruption.

How can you make use of our Digital IQ findings?

  1. Take the digital IQ assessment and compare your results with peers.
  2. Hold a workshop that looks at areas for improvement and develop a shared perspective on how to proceed with digital initiatives.
  3. Develop a firm-wide digital IQ benchmark to share with your whole company.
  4. Create a strategy for dealing with disruption, near-term and long-term.
  5. Expand your circle of knowledge and talent beyond your company to help with disruption.

These five steps are a broad outline of how you can begin to think about digital and disruption. I’m sure there are other constructs you can use. But what’s clear is that the issue is not going away. And companies are best served when they are prepared.a



Chris Curran

Principal and Chief Technologist, PwC US Tel: +1 (214) 754 5055 Email

Vicki Huff Eckert

Global New Business & Innovation Leader Tel: +1 (650) 387 4956 Email

Mark McCaffery

US Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Leader Tel: +1 (408) 817 4199 Email