2021 Roadmap to Digital Acceleration

Building resilience with digital acceleration.

In our latest global survey and report, 1,024 business leaders tell us how they are responding to a harsher reality about the urgency of digital transformation. We found that organisations that can react to events quickly and effectively have never been so well placed to grow.

Building resilience with digital acceleration.

In a quickly changing world, only three things are certain.

Digital transformation is critical for business survival. 

36% of firms say that in three years time the large majority of their revenue will come from digital. 

Digital revenues dominate.

3X the number of firms, compared to our 2019 study, expect 75% of their revenue to come from digital.

Agility builds resilience.

32% say that accelerating digital efforts – whether by increasing digital revenue streams or advancing digital transformation – is the number one change that will improve their organisation’s resilience in the event of a future crisis.

Building a roadmap.

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2019

We analysed the key characteristics of firms that act with organisational agility, along with the five main capabilities that made them better placed to unlock digital revenue streams and react at speed.

2020

We set out to understand how firms are embedding these five capabilities in order to create a roadmap for others – and as it happened, our survey was conducted in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis.

2021

After analysing the organisations that responded most nimbly to the COVID-19 pandemic, we found these fast responders were more likely to have embedded the following best practices. Let’s take a look at the main stops on the road to organisational agility.

Building a roadmap.

2019

We analysed the key characteristics of firms that act with organisational agility, along with the five main capabilities that made them better placed to unlock digital revenue streams and react at speed.

test

2020

We set out to understand how firms are embedding these five capabilities in order to create a roadmap for others – and as it happened, our survey was conducted in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis.

test

2021

After analysing the organisations that responded most nimbly to the COVID-19 pandemic, we found these fast responders were more likely to have embedded the following best practices. Let’s take a look at the main stops on the road to organisational agility.

Adopt smart technologies.

We found a link between the use of smart technologies, such as AI, ML and RPA, and the growth of digital revenue streams. 

64% of organisations that report progress deploying smart technologies are twice as likely to derive 50% or more of their revenue from digital than those that have yet to commence deployment. 

34% of respondents rank the ability to work with smart technologies as their most sought-after skill for the next 5 years.

Embed an adaptable culture.

An adaptable culture enables firms to quickly pivot to new opportunities and unforeseen circumstances across all areas of the business. 

56% say their technology is compatible with digital transformation goals.

16% say the same thing about their culture.

Bottom line: changing technology is easier than changing minds.

Ensure data accessibility.

36% of the fast responders say that there is complete data accessibility within their firm.

13% of slow responders can say the same.

Data accessibility is critical in enabling real-time, data-driven decisions to be made at all levels of the business, as well as driving continuous planning and agile measurement. 


Firms that report high levels of data accessibility also benefit from:

  • 51% increased productivity
  • 43% improved visibility and communication at director level
  • 41% cost savings

Develop analytical and tech skills.

Analytical and tech skills are guiding the uptake of:

  • Smart technologies
  • Agile metrics
  • Workforce capacity
  • Remote working at scale

50% of fast responders take a continuous approach to planning.

Upskill to meet the future.

From an organisational perspective, the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted gaps in structural agility and the need for different skills for many in our study. 

45% said global market uncertainty is the number one inhibitor to recruitment, making it hard to hire for the most urgent skills.

As a result, businesses are developing talent internally – by improving engagement and retention (41%), upskilling and reskilling (41%), and cross-functional skills sharing (37%) – instead of hiring to find the skills they need.

Keep your foot on the digital pedal.

While the path to recovery is anticipated to be a long one, the executives we surveyed are already reflecting on how to protect their firms from future crises. 

32% say that accelerating digital efforts is the number one change that will improve their organisation’s resilience in the event of a future crisis.


All the insights in one spot.