CXO

CEOs are the least tech-savvy executives, harming enterprise digital transformation

Only 43% of respondents said their leadership is digitally savvy, according to PwC's 11th annual Digital IQ report.

Successful companies are led by digitally intelligent leadership, according to PwC's 11th annual Digital IQ report, released on Tuesday. More than half (51%) of financially successful companies have adopted the more advanced definitions of digital—one in which digital is a way of doing business, said the report.

As business professionals know, a company's attitude and goals percolate from the the top down. For companies to succeed in a digital world, they must have leadership that values digital initiatives as business initiatives. And executives should be accountable for digital initiatives in the workplace to foster success: 77% of financially successful companies said their executives are responsible for the digital goals of the brand, according to the report.

SEE: 2019 IT Budget Research Report: IT spending increases due to business conditions, security, and revenue opportunities (Tech Pro Research)

While the majority of executives might be held responsible, only 54% of respondents said their leadership is actually digitally intelligent, said the report. Even though a CEO might have ownership of the digital initiatives in their organization, it doesn't necessarily mean they are qualified to plan and implement those projects successfully.

Successful organizations make make digitization a priority throughout the company. The majority (71%) of successful companies have altered their recruitment and training processes to forge a more digitally savvy staff, said the report. And all 71% of those respondents confirmed that the investment is paying off.

However, many executives find it difficult to upskill their workforce. The top three challenges included a lack of time (57%), lack of structure for delivering training (55%), and lack of institutional knowledge (49%), said the report.

CEOs have the lowest Digital IQ of all members of the C-Suite, according to the report. CEOs have a Digital IQ of 61/100, while CTOs come in at 65/11, and CIOs at 63/100, according to the report. However, CXOs are often motivated by many factors when it comes to making digital changes.

Some 23% of CXOs said the pressure from competitors was the most important reason to make strategic digital moves, and 19% said it was digital maturity, said the report. If CXOs want their organizations to be successful, however, they must realize the vitality of digital transformations for the sustainability of the business, which begins with them.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • While 77% of employees agree that CXOs are responsible for digital initiatives, only 54% of respondents say their CXOs are actually digitally intelligent. — PwC, 2018
  • CEOs have the lowest digital IQ (61/100) in the G Suite, and CTOs have the highest (65/100). — PwC, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/Sladic

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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