How High is Your Company’s Digital IQ?

As a CIO, you likely rub shoulders with high-IQ individuals on a daily basis – both the IT experts in your department and the other C-level executives in your company. But despite all those smart Digital-iqpeople around, your company’s Digital IQ may still be quite low.

According to the recently released fifth annual Digital IQ survey from PwC, companies with a high Digital IQ – i.e., those that understand technology on an enterprise-wide basis and weave IT into the everyday fabric of the entire business – are four times as likely as other companies to be top performers. And a high Digital IQ means more than a big budget or the latest, greatest tools.

For starters, PwC identifies having a strong level of collaboration between CIOs and other C-level executives as the underpinning of a strong Digital IQ. Think about it, if all those educated, high-wattage minds in your company’s C-suite do not talk to each other or work toward common goals, a huge portion of their combined value is wasted. A good point of comparison is the 2012 Boston Red Sox, a baseball team with a collection of high-priced, proven talent that did not work together and had no strong senior management that finished dead last in its division.

But collaboration among the “All-Stars” is just the beginning of developing a high Digital IQ. PwC also identifies a number of other key characteristics. These include having a single, multiyear business strategy roadmap with direct links to the IT roadmap, aggressive IT capital spending in support of strategic corporate ventures, aggressive investment in emerging technologies such as mobile, social, Big Data and cloud, full mobile-enablement of the enterprise, explicit innovation approaches and a recognition that different generations of employees think differently about IT and have different IT needs.

PwC also provides some hard ROI figures that show the value of having a high Digital IQ and full collaboration among C-level executives. Their IT initiatives are more likely to be delivered on time, at or below budget, and within 100% of the planned project scope. They also more frequently cite 2012 total revenue growth of more than 25% and are more likely to be confident in revenue growth, profitability, and market share. Organizations identified as top performers reported revenue growth of more than 5% and said that their companies are in the top quartile for revenue, profitability and innovation.

So CIOs take a look at your organization; not just your department but your whole organization, and see whether or not it can justifiably boast of having a high Digital IQ. And in the spirit of the collaboration that drives Digital IQ, invite your other C-level colleagues to do the same and then share your findings. That meeting alone will produce an increase in Digital IQ, and hopefully set the stage for further growth down the road.