Mobile technology is a top-five technology priority for 77 percent of global C-level business leaders, and 43 percent ranked it as the top or No. 2 priority, according to the “Accenture Mobility Insights Report 2014.” Accenture, a business and technology consulting firm, attributed mobile technology’s importance to it being an enabler of other digital technologies, including social, mobile, analytics, cloud and connected products, and said those reporting exceptional return on investment shared a number of traits.

“Any successful technology implementation requires certain ingredients, but this research demonstrates that in the case of newer, digital technologies it’s not just about actions, but about attitude too,” said Jin Lee, global managing director of Accenture Mobility. “Mobility was the forerunner to many of the digital technologies that are now being adopted, and businesses can learn from the mobility leaders’ successes what they need to do to make their adoptions of analytics, social or connected products successful.”

According to participants, which included insurer, digital technologies are considered drivers for better engagement with customers and creating new revenue streams. More than a third of participants, 35 percent, said they expect the convergence of digital technologies to help increase sales in existing markets, Accenture said; three-quarters said they view digital technologies as a strategic investment; 29 percent said they expect their adoption of digital technologies to generate additional revenue; 28 percent plan to build new digital businesses or services as a result of convergence, and 27 percent expect to penetrate new markets.

Return on investment (ROI) for digital technology projects is strong, Accenture said, as one-in-10 participants said they achieved more than 100-percent ROI for mobility implementations in the last two years; an additional 26 percent reported returns of more than 50 percent.

Accenture designated those who reported ROI of more than 100 percent as leaders, and those leaders shared a number of common traits, Accenture said, including:

  • A formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy and measurement. Leaders were 11 percent more likely to have formal plans, and the numbers increased compared to last year. This year, 43 percent have developed a formal mobile strategy compared to 23 percent last year; 29 percent of leaders have a formal process for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing ways mobility can benefit business, vs. 18 percent of others. Measurement is a low priority, as only 22 percent of the leaders and 13 percent of the others have formal metrics in place to measure the effectiveness of mobility initiatives.
  • An aggressive, ambitious attitude. More than half of the leaders, 54 percent, said they have aggressively pursued and invested in mobile technologies and consider mobility as a crucial part of their business strategy; 40 percent of others claimed the same. Leaders also were more likely to say they have effectively adopted and deployed mobile technologies, 69 percent vs. 42 percent. “Leaders were also more likely to believe that all the major digital technologies are a top-five priority, an average eight percent ahead of those companies performing less well in mobility projects,” Accenture said.
  • Securing senior leadership buy-in: For leaders, the CEO and the leadership team or board of directors were more likely to own the mobile strategy, and senior leadership is highly engaged with the organization’s mobility initiatives. “Amongst all respondents, 35 percent had CEOs involved in formulating mobile strategy, with 30 percent of chief marketing officers or equivalent also having a say,” Accenture said.

Other highlights from the report:

  • After mobile, Accenture found that big data analytics was the next priority, with 72 percent ranking it in the top five.
  • Connected technologies, with 65 percent, were the next highest priority.
  • 30 percent said they have the right talent and skills to properly plan and execute their mobility initiatives.
  • 27 percent said they are able to keep pace with new mobile devices, systems and services necessary to improve their businesses.

“There are still many challenges that businesses must face: the need for enterprisewide technology strategies is key, but companies also need to harness today’s technology with an eye on tomorrow,” Lee said. “Businesses must be agile enough to quickly adapt, with a strong enough technology support system to enable that, but also to fully exploit the capabilities of digital technologies already in place. Mobility came before the digital technologies it’s now converging with, and as such enterprises can learn real lessons from mobility implementations. If they are to take full advantage and see the market growth they expect from digital convergence, it’s more than a suggestion to learn from peers; it’s an imperative.”
This story was originally published at Insurance Networking News.