The Digital Advantage: How Digital Leaders Outperform their Peers in Every Industry

| Point of View

Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business global research

New digital technologies like social media, mobile, and analytics are advancing rapidly on the economic landscape. These innovations are used widely by consumers and employees alike. Facebook has more than 1 billion users. There are more than 6 billion mobile phones. Employees often have better digital solutions at home than they do at work, and many customers are more technology savvy than the people trying to sell to them.

Executives in every industry – from media to electronics to paint manufacturing – face a bewildering array of new digital opportunities. They are paying attention, but they have few signposts to guide them. Most stories in the business media focus on fast-moving startups like Zynga and Pinterest, or on a few large high-tech firms like Apple, Google, or Amazon. Unfortunately, to many leaders, stories of these nimble and innovative firms just do not make sense for traditional companies that are older, larger, and burdened with inflexible legacies.

We decided to find out what fast-moving digital innovations mean for large traditional companies. In two years of study covering more than 400 large firms, we found that most large firms are already taking action. They are using technologies like social media, mobile, analytics and embedded devices to change their customer engagement, internal operations and even their business models. But few firms have positioned themselves to capture the real business benefits. Our research points to a real “digital advantage” to those that do.

Digital maturity matters. It matters in every industry. And the approaches that digitally mature companies use can be adopted by any company that has the leadership drive to do so.