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What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Public Relations

What separates the leaders from the laggards in today’s business environment? New research from IT services, consulting, and business solutions firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) not surprisingly reveals a sharp divide in the digital strategies of better-performing companies (Leaders) vs. the laggards (Followers)—but the research also uncovered an unexpected finding: 80 percent of Leaders are more willing to collaborate with competitors, compared to Followers (23 percent).

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

The firm’s new study, Where, How and What Leaders Will Compete With in the New Decade, prepared by the TCS Thought Leadership Institute, which conducts primary research to help organizations transform for long-term, sustainable growth, examines how large global enterprises have recalibrated their competitive strategies through 2025, following the pandemic. Specifically, it explores how management teams across the world are striking a balance between innovation and optimization in four areas—digital strategies, digital offerings, digital ways of conducting business, and leadership approaches.

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

“Senior executives are always challenged to lead their organizations forward to be more competitive, and increasing digitization only accelerates that momentum,” said Krishnan Ramanujam, Business Group Head, Business & Technology Services, TCS, in a news release. “This study captures the pulse of global business leaders and their nearly ubiquitous belief that massive digital opportunities abound in the next five years—and their company culture must embrace an innovation mindset.”

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

Key findings of the study include:

Innovation was ranked as the most important aspect of organization culture

It was followed by Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity (#2), Quality Orientation (#3), and Customer-Centricity (#4).

Leaders ranked Customer-Centricity as the top cultural priority

It ranked above Shareholder Value, while Followers ranked it number 6, indicating that higher-performing companies embed a ‘customer first’ mindset across the organization.

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

By 2025, respondents believe 41 percent of their revenue will come from new offerings

Within that, Leaders expect 44 percent revenue from new offerings, while Followers expect 40 percent.

The respondents projected that by 2025, 46 percent of their revenue will come from purely digital products or services

Leaders expect it to be even higher—56 percent.

When asked where they need to more effectively use data, respondents ranked Digital Marketing Campaigns first

It was followed by Sales Initiatives and Customer Service, suggesting that their companies need to improve the way customer data is used to create demand and improve customer experience.

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

The report also offers data-based recommendations to help shape the strategy of forward-thinking executives on how to take their organizations to higher performance.

What differentiates today’s top performers most? Digital acumen helps, but it’s not the key trait

Download the full report here.

TCS’ 2021 Global Leadership Study surveyed more than 1,200 CEOs and senior executives from a range of industries including (but not limited to) retail, manufacturing, insurance, banking and financial, healthcare and more, from four regions across the globe—North America (US, Canada); UK, Europe (Germany, Netherlands, France); APAC (India, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan); and LATAM (Colombia, Brazil, Mexico). Respondents’ companies had annual revenues over $1B, with an average revenue of $14B.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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