Ten questions to discover your digital IQ

March 2, 2016



The behaviors of best-in-class digital leaders.

Full-blown digital transformation is a relatively new phenomenon. There’s not a lot of well-documented evidence of how companies rewire their internal and external operations to generate revenue in the digital age.

Yet, some companies have an uncanny ability to dominate on the digital front. They introduce innovative technologies that change the game and deliver delightful customer experiences that create unbreakable bonds with customers.

How do these talked-about top performers consistently outrun the competition? And, how does your company compare to the best of the best?

If I could answer the first question with one word I would say: culture.

Through our annual Digital IQ survey, we peer into the practices of top performers* to identify best practice behaviors. This year we discovered 10 attributes that made digital leaders twice as likely to achieve more rapid revenue growth as the laggards in our study.

For top performers, digital is a way of life.

Baron Concors, the Chief Digital Officer for Pizza Hut, told PwC in a Q&A:

“I think Pizza Hut is doing pretty well from a Digital IQ perspective. A lot of that is driven by the fact that digital is such a substantial part of our revenue. You know, it’s not just something we talk about; it’s actually a core part of our business. How people order from us, whether it’s from our website, our mobile apps, or our mobile website, is a core part of our business, and so it’s permeated every piece of our organization.”

The behaviors of best-in-class digital leaders listed below are embedded into the bones of organizations and enable top performers to reap the rewards of their digital investments.

  • The CEO champions digital initiatives
  • The executives responsible for digital are involved in setting high level business strategy
  • Business-aligned digital strategy is agreed upon and shared at the C-level
  • Business and digital strategy are well communicated enterprise wide
  • The company actively engages with external sources to gather new ideas for applying emerging technologies
  • Digital enterprise investments are made primarily for competitive advantage
  • The company effectively utilizes all the data they capture to drive business value
  • The company proactively evaluates and plans for security and privacy risks in digital enterprise projects
  • The company has a single enterprise roadmap that includes business capabilities and processes as well as digital and IT components
  • The company consistently measures outcomes from digital technology investments

As for the second question regarding how you measure up, you can discover your Digital IQ score by exploring our Digital IQ benchmark. For the first time, you can answer a few questions to determine how your company compares to the top performers along these 10 dimensions. You’ll also learn how you stack up against your peers by industry, country and role.

It’s important for your executive team to understand where they are so they know where to focus. Once you take the Digital IQ benchmark, ask your team to do the same. Following are the next steps to pave a promising path forward:

  • Conduct a digital strategy workshop to evaluate areas for improvement and develop a shared perspective.
  • Start a digital dialogue within the organization around prioritization, and use technology to underscore your message.
  • Develop a disruption strategy that moves beyond incremental goals.
  • Draw information and inspiration from third-party sources such as incubators, universities, open source projects and maker communities.

If you use the benchmarking tool, let me know if you find it helpful for your strategic planning efforts.


*Footnote: We define top performers as firms with profit margins greater than 5%, profit growth over the past three years greater than 5% and expected revenue growth over the next three years of 5%.

Image shared by David Spinks.



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