Digital World Class® Technology

July 25, 2023
Season 4, Episode 27

Digital World Class Technology organizations spend less, operate with fewer staff, yet deliver dramatically greater benefit to their organizations. How do they do it? A discussion of findings from our new Digital World Class Technology research with Associate Principal Todd Musgrove and Senior Director Prem Purushothamraj.

Welcome to The Hackett Group’s “Business Excelleration® Podcast,” where week after week we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode is hosted by Gary Baker, Group Global Communications director at The Hackett Group. Today’s episode will discuss the findings from The Hackett Group’s Digital World Class technology research. His guests are Associate Principal Todd Musgrove and Senior Director Prem Purushothamraj.

To begin, Prem explains what it means to be a Digital World Class technology organization. As defined by The Hackett Group, Digital World Class organizations have undertaken a Hackett benchmark and demonstrated first-quarter performance from a business value and operational excellence standpoint. These organizations range across industries, and demonstrate the best performance in their investments and realized business value. Digital World Class organizations are also highly valued as business partners. Todd explains that is largely due to their ability to demonstrate significant advantages in the areas of application strategy, talent management and customer-centricity. These contribute to greater business agility and resilience. They are also able to quickly adapt to changing business circumstances. Eighty-eight percent of Digital World Class organizations report that their information technology (IT) executives are often engaged in strategic discussions and decisions. Thus, these organizations are able to directly influence and shape business strategy. Their technology goals are also aligned to the overall business objective. Finally, these organizations outperform their peers when it comes to delivering on projects that meet their return on investment targets.

Next, Prem explains the role of technology enablement in generating performance advantage. The Hackett Group found that Digital World Class companies make targeted investments in several areas of leading technology and are intentional about creating business value from those investments. On average, they are making investments in the areas of automation, data and analytics, cloud strategy, and operations. Through every point of the journey, world-class organizations are making sure that their investments are translating into better outcomes for their stakeholders. Many require top-down sponsorship from technology organizations, which require them to be well integrated with the business units they serve and understand their most pressing needs.

End-to-end process design and ownership is a key component of becoming a Digital World Class technology organization. Business processes are often complex and span multiple teams. Without an end-to-end perspective, it’s easy for inefficiencies to creep in. Designing processes from an end-to-end perspective ensures that every step in the process is coordinated. It also promotes the critical aspect of process standardization. Ninety-five percent of Digital World Class technology organizations cite adoption and adherence to common definitions in system life cycles.

The journey toward becoming a Digital World Class technology organization involves a series of strategic steps. First, determine the most critical key performance indicators, or KPIs, and the metrics that best reflect your performance and are most relevant. Second, benchmark performance for those KPIs. Measure current performance levels against those of your competitors to understand where you stand. Third, assess the effectiveness and maturity of your current technology operating model. Fourth, identify and improve performance gaps. Fifth, develop the KPIs required to meet your business and IT objectives to find the new metrics that will guide your organization to evolution. Sixth, define the capabilities that you need to develop to meet your objectives, and identify the digital tools, insights and talents that you will need to close gaps. Finally, collaborate with the business functions to develop enterprisewide capabilities. In closing, Todd elaborates on the key role of talent management throughout the journey toward Digital World Class. Finally, Prem offers some key takeaways from the discussion today.

Time stamps:

  • 0:49 – Welcome to this episode hosted by Gary Baker.
  • 1:25 – What does it mean to be a Digital World Class technology organization?
  • 2:28 – What makes Digital World Class organizations higher-value business partners?
  • 4:22 – The role of technology enablement.
  • 6:30 – End-to-end process design and ownership.
  • 8:15 – The steps to becoming Digital World Class.
  • 10:03 – The role of talent management.
  • 10:59 – Prem shares the key takeaways from the discussion.