It is clear that leaders are much more aggressive than followers at using digital technology. They spend far more and draw on all five sets of technologies – although they focus on building capabilities in fewer areas.
But of course technology alone doesn’t create a competitive advantage. In this study, several factors appear to be giving digital leaders an edge over the followers:
Leaders are more likely to have one strategy that guides all digital initiatives in the organization. Some 57% of leaders have one digital strategy guiding all the digital initiatives in the organization (initiatives dealing with how to connect to customers). (See Exhibit IV-14) Only 40% of followers have one such overarching digital strategy. Followers were more likely to allow business functions to create their own digital strategies. That was the case at about half the followers, but only 37% of the leaders. Another 9% of followers have no digital strategy at all – either overall or by function. When each function creates its own digital strategy, conflicting initiatives can easily become the rule.
Exhibit IV-14: Leaders Don’t Let Digital Anarchy Rule