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Top corporate growth and profits closely tied to digital maturity

Digitally mature organizations have higher revenue growth and net profits, regardless of their industry, according to a report by business and technology consultancy West Monroe Partners.

Four digital characteristics in particular—a clear vision and dedicated leadership; engaged employees who are intrinsically motivated; an ability to leverage data for insights; and digital interactions that are convenient and effortless—showed a high correlation with stellar financial performance, which the report defined as annual growth rates above 10 percent.

West Monroe conducted an online survey of 407 U.S.-based executives to understand perspectives on digital maturity and the impact of employing digital initiatives across four industries: healthcare, financial services, energy and utilities, and manufacturing.

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Light trails from network switches illuminate fiber optic cables, center, and copper Ethernet cables inside a communications room at an office in London, U.K., on Monday, May 21, 2018. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will work with the Home Office to publish a white paper later this year setting out legislation, according to a statement, which will also seek to force tech giants to reveal how they target abusive and illegal online material posted by users. Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

The survey found digital maturity levels are fairly evenly divided across the spectrum, from “not digitally mature” to “very digitally mature,” with the largest percentage of companies (22 percent) characterizing themselves as average. Some industries are farther along in the digital journey, the report said. Nearly half (47 percent) of financial services organizations consider themselves to be digitally mature or very mature, compared with only 31 percent of healthcare organizations.

Across all industries, half of the companies surveyed are investing to digitize their operating models. The most digitally mature companies spend 35 percent of overall budget on digital initiatives.

“To keep up with the most digitally mature organizations, companies need to start thinking of digital as more than a buzzword that only applies to certain segments of their organizations or as the latest technology update,” said Kyle Hutchins, senior director and leader of the firm’s digital team. “The challenge is often knowing the right digital elements to focus on and if efforts will actually drive revenue.”

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