Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation [Infographic]

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It shouldn’t surprise anybody, but companies with coherent digital strategies do better than those focusing on individual technologies, according to a recently published report by global financial services firm Deloitte.

The report says mature organizations tend to adopt digital strategies to transform their business, while younger organizations focus on individual technologies and operational strategies.

Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review surveyed more than 4,800 business executives in 27 industries and 129 countries.

Just 15 percent of respondents from companies at the early stages of digital maturity said their companies had a clear digital strategy, compared to more than 80 percent of respondents from digitally mature companies.

The findings didn’t surprise Will Hutson, founder and CEO of UAE-based digital media agency LMTD, who attributes the slow adoption of digital innovation in MENA to a fear of failure.

“Failure is a four-letter word here,” he said, referring to a mindset in the Middle East and North Africa region. “You need leadership that is willing to take risks.”

The potential to scale created by digital communication channels makes relying on older marketing channels potentially harmful to startups in MENA and other emerging markets.

“Risk isn’t within the actions of what happens when business embraces digital and social,” he said. "Not embracing digital is where the risk is.”

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