June 6, 2014
Established Canadian businesses can improve competitiveness by turning their strong commitment to digital technologies into more effective digital business models, according to a new Accenture report released this week.
The research study, “CEO Briefing 2014 – The Global Agenda: Competing in a Digital World,” reveals that Canadian business leaders understand the connection between digital business models and growth better than many of their global counterparts, but have yet to fully anchor their global digital strategy at the level of the CEO. The research includes insights from senior Canadian executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The majority of Canadian executives (51%) say that their digital investments are focused primarily on driving growth opportunities rather than on achieving efficiencies, versus only 31% of the executives surveyed outside Canada.
According to Accenture, this suggests that Canadian businesses are more growth oriented with their digital investments than those in any other mature economy.
Even so, responsibility for digital innovation in Canadian enterprises is most likely to rest with a technology role, with 35% citing the CIO and 27% the CTO. Less than a quarter of Canadian respondents (23%) say responsibility for digital innovation rests with the CEO.
That differs from responses of business executives in the global sample, of which 35% say the CEO is most commonly the leader of the digital agenda. Further, nearly four in 10 Canadian executives say that one of the most significant challenges they face when implementing digital initiatives is the lack of senior executive support.
“Our research suggests that Canadian business leaders appear more committed to implementing digital technologies than their counterparts elsewhere and they are more likely to see digital business models not merely enabling greater efficiencies, but driving growth opportunities,” said Stephen Gardiner, Canada Managing Director, Strategy and Digital at Accenture. “But they need to do more to make the digital agenda integral to the CEO’s growth strategy if they are to use it to break into new markets, form new cross sector partnerships or create entirely new product and service portfolios.”
At a Toronto Region Board of Trade on Thursday Michael Denham, Senior Managing Director, Accenture Canada, spoke about the growing concerns around Canadian businesses’ need to adopt digital technology in their business strategy.
Coverage of his speech will appear in the July-August issue of Connections+.