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McKinsey defines digitization as technologies that virtualize and automate products, services and supply chains. They may include new digital business models and marketplaces, such as online and mobile distribution. Reporting methods for digitization typically include predictive analytics, which providers can use to improve service by anticipating customer needs.
Teasing apart the digital leaders from the fast followers and laggards is not easy, as many companies remain in various stages of their digital journeys, which range from digitizing only customer touchpoints to digitizing entire business processes and creating new digital revenue streams.
But McKinsey may have stumbled upon a blueprint for success. The consultancy says that 49 percent of leading companies are investing in digital more than their counterparts do, compared with only 5 percent of the digital laggards. "Heavy digital investment is a differentiator," said McKinsey researchers Jacques Bughin, Laura LaBerge and Anette Mellbye in their report.
Digital and corporate strategy alignment is key
Another differentiator is alignment between IT and the business. McKinsey found that leading companies are more than twice as likely to align their digital and corporate strategies than other companies. "Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions," say the McKinsey researchers.
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