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DIGITAL MATURITY RESEARCH:

Find your place on the digital maturity curve

Future growth and savings means investing in AI, IoT, automation and data management.

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Welcome to the
End of the Beginning

As we move beyond the early days of the new modern economy, decision makers wonder which strategic investments make the best sense. Which initiatives will yield the best returns and boost their digital maturity? How do they compare with their peers?

To find the answers, we surveyed roughly 2,500 business and technology leaders from multiple industries globally that collectively account for about $21.6 trillion in annual revenue.

Categories of Digital Maturity

To better understand what a leader looks like, we created a digital maturity score to:

Determine how much businesses should be investing in digital as a percent of revenue today and in the near future.

Gain insight into the investments yielding the greatest returns, as well as the next best areas of focus.

Illuminate how returns fluctuate based on digital maturity level.

Respondents were placed into one of four categories:
LEADERS

80–100th percentile

ADVANCERS

55–80th percentile

IMPLEMENTERS

30–55th percentile

BEGINNERS

30th percentile

Invest in AI, IoT, automation and data

Lighting the Way to the Digital Economy

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The details of how you use software to compete and win will be specific to your company and your customers, but it's certain that software—up and down every value chain in every industry and sector—will only get more essential to creating value.

Key findings from our digital maturity research

Tech bets with the highest payoff.

More than 70% of companies on average are already realizing moderate or high ROI (including cost savings, growth, valuation, etc.) on the low-risk bets of cloud, mobile technology and cybersecurity. Future growth and savings will come from process automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), data management and artificial intelligence (AI).

CALCULATING TECHNOLOGY'S RETURNS
Percent of respondents who said they are getting "moderate" or "high" returns on these investments.
Becoming digital pays off.

As businesses move from digital laggards to leaders, they can expect net benefits equal to 9% of revenue, unlocking total value of $770 million for the average-size company in our study.

THE DIGITAL FORCE MULTIPLIER
As beginners become leaders, they can increase their net benefits (revenue minus cost) from 2.7% to 9% of revenue.
Humans are still at the digital center.

Among advancers and leaders in our study, 48% said a top lesson learned was to start their initiatives with human insight. Leaders align new technologies with human requirements-workforce transformation, improving consumer and employee experiences, etc.

A HUMAN TOUCH DRIVES GROWTH WHILE LOWERING COST
Percent of respondents saying high positive impact on revenue/cost.
Beginner Leader
Workforce transformation Cost 17% 28%
Revenue 18% 29%
Human-centric, tech-enabled products and services Cost 9% 15%
Revenue 11% 22%

Find your digital starting line

Every day, leaders are besieged by wave after wave of new technologies threatening to disrupt—or ignite—their business. Applying these new technologies has become the core competency for anyone hoping to thrive in the modern economy. Our research into digital maturity reveals how much businesses should be investing in advanced technologies as a percent of revenue today and in the near future. Determine the next best areas to focus on to ensure the returns you can expect at various points of the maturity curve and more. It pays to find out where you are today to make the best decision on where to start.

DOWNLOAD OUR RESEARCH

About our study

  • Global and cross-industry
    Companies studied collectively account for about $21.6 trillion in annual revenue.

    We conducted our study with ESI ThoughtLab of 2,491 C-level executives and their direct reports across four regions and 12 industries and from a mix of enterprise functions. In addition, ESI ThoughtLab conducted interviews with senior executives in more than 20 companies across industries and world locations.

  • 12 industries represented
    Each industry represented 8% to 9% of the sample, or approximately 200 respondents per industry.
    • Healthcare payers
    • Healthcare providers
    • Technology hardware and software
    • Consumer products
    • Financial services
    • Industrial manufacturing
    • Insurance
    • Life sciences
    • Media/entertainment/publishing
    • Retail
    • Telecommunications
    • Utilities
  • Executives surveyed
    Respondents by title

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