How Companies Thrive in a Connected Economy

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2016-07-12 Email

With digital disruption threatening revenue streams, a significant number of organizations are pursuing what's called "connected economy" initiatives, according to a recent survey from the Harvard Business Review and IBM. The resulting report, "The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in the Connected Economy," defines a connected economy (CE) as one that creates value through technology-enabled links between people, machines and organizations. The findings divide organizations into categories of "CE leaders" (ones that deploy CE business models or innovation to a significant extent) and "CE laggards" (ones that are not pursuing this approach). CE leaders are much more likely to achieve double-digit growth, with their senior executives taking an active role in driving digital business initiatives. Their IT departments are more engaged with other business areas than those at laggard companies. And CIOs are frequently considered "business innovators" and "organizational transformers" at CE leaders. "What really sets CE leaders apart is the degree to which they recognize the threat from digital disruption and the value of their IT leadership in bringing them into the connected economy," states the report. "That awareness is causing them to make digital initiatives a C-level priority. CE leaders have changed the relationship between IT and other parts of the business to a model based on collaborative engagement. They invest more in digital technology, skills and projects. And they are creating new digital transition teams, while at the same time emphasizing that digital is becoming part of everyone's job." More than 690 global IT, HR, operations, sales and marketing, and other managers took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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