Research Shows Companies Today Overthink and Underact in Preparing for Digital Inevitability

September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016 (ATLANTA) – To drive market gains in today’s rapid pace of digitization, organizations must move decisively to align technology and digital with strategy and culture. This is a key insight of a new white paper and survey report titled, Business at the Speed of Data: A Digital Operating Framework, from management consulting firm North Highland.

The new research analysis offers suggestions for businesses on how to stop analyzing and start course correcting around digital transformation. Findings show that leading digital companies today hold the following critical operating tenets:

  • Give authority to data, empowering it to inform short-cycle feedback loops
  • Organize around products and objectives rather than functions or geographies
  • Design to continuously transform, and travel light

“Today, winning organizations optimize digital tools and services to enable informed decision-making, internal collaboration and meaningful customer engagement,” said Ben Grinnell, North Highland global head of technology and digital. “Digitization reduces costs and friction while increasing efficiency, speed, and the ability to scale. Done properly, digitization delivers agility at reduced risk and drives top and bottom line growth.”


The report highlights results from a North Highland-sponsored survey conducted in August 2016. More than 200 c-suite-level business leaders in the U.S. and U.K. were asked about their digitization efforts. Key findings include:

  • Digitization is a primary business decision driver
    • 83 percent report that it is “very important” or “extremely important” for their organization to achieve an increased level of digitization over the next five years
    • Digitization is driven by three primary business goals
      • Reducing costs (67 percent)
      • Streamlining work (47 percent)
      • Satisfying or engaging customers (43 percent)
      • Even in today’s always-connected world there are obstacles to digitization that stem from lack of communication and organized operations management
        • Funding (48 percent)
        • Cross-department cooperation (31 percent)
        • Siloed efforts without organization-wide perspective (31 percent)

An overwhelming majority of respondents (67 percent) state that their IT department is primarily responsible for executing digitization. This finding was particularly telling to researchers as the operating framework to thrive in today’s digital age requires a recognition that digitization is an enterprise-wide transformation.

“Businesses must include all departments and employees at all levels, connecting people, process and technology across an enterprise and empowering them all to operate digitally,” said Grinnell. “Being digital demands a fundamental culture shift, but one that is critical for responding to quickly changing requirements and moving organizations forward.”

For additional research findings and to download the full white paper, please click here.  

For more information about North Highland’s Technology and Digital Services, please visit:

Media Contacts: 

Jennifer Marsh

About North Highland Technology & Digital Services

At North Highland, we help organizations drive market gains by aligning technology and digital initiatives with strategy and culture. We do this by optimizing the types of tools and services that drive informed decision-making, enable internal collaboration and create platforms for meaningful customer engagement. We integrate diverse technology consulting competencies with the digital strategy, design, user experience and development competencies of our experience design agency, Sparks Grove. Our services include:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Technology Governance
  • Digital Applications
  • System Selection and Benefits Realization

About North Highland

North Highland is a global management consulting firm known for helping clients solve their most complex challenges related to customer experience, performance improvement, technology and digital, and transformation. We add value and support our clients across the full spectrum of consulting, from strategy through delivery. We bring the big ideas, then we make them real. North Highland is an employee-owned firm, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with more than 3,000 consultants worldwide and 60+ offices around the globe. The firm is a member of Cordence Worldwide (, a global management consulting alliance. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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