Don't Miss the Boat.

Author:Gregoire, Eric

Among companies in Europe and the U.S., the gap between digital top performers and laggards is wide, according to a study by The Boston Consulting Group, for which some 1,300 companies estimated their level of digital maturity. While the top performers achieve a high level of performance, around one in four companies is at risk of missing the boat.

"Digitization is creating a deep divide in the corporate landscape worldwide. Companies that fail to keep up could lose a lot of their significance in the future," says technology specialist and BCG senior partner Massimo Russo. 'While the digital champions can be found particularly among telecommunications and technology companies, other industries are finding the transition to software solutions and services more difficult. They often develop and market digital products and services that don't appeal to target customers, who often differ from their traditional clients."

According to the survey, the U.S. has 20% more digital top performers than Europe, putting the American market on a faster track toward digital transformation. Overall, 28% of U.S. companies were digital champions and 23% were laggards. In Europe, 23% were champions and 25% were laggards.

The top U.S. performers excel at reinventing or disrupting their own business models, using analytics (for example, collecting machine data in the agriculture industry in order to optimize harvests), and reinventing the customer experience.

U.S. companies also are further along than their European counterparts in creating digital acceleration centers to drive innovation coherently, and in extracting financial gains from digital.

"Ambitious goals, combined with a clear implementation timeline, are crucial for digitization. The more confident companies are in their abilities when it comes to digitization, the greater their progress toward competitiveness and future readiness," says BCG partner Bharat Khandelwal, a specialist on technology and digital transformation.

As a result of the analysis, the authors concluded that a company's digital development is more industry specific than country specific, driven by similar starting points and a similar affinity for digitization. Not surprisingly, the telco and technology industries are the most advanced. Among U.S. telcos, 41% are digital champions with their own digital offerings (such as Internet of Things applications) and digital customer journeys, whereas 30% of European telcos are digital...

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