C-suite Execs Clash When it Comes to Digital Spending

The C-suite is facing an uphill digital battle.

A new study from McKinsey dubbed “Minding your digital business,” looks at how C-suite executives view three big trends in digital business:

  • Big data and analytics
  • Digital marketing and social media tools
  • The use of new delivery platforms such as cloud computing and mobility

The study included responses from 1,469 CEOs, CFOs and CIOs.

Going on the digital offensive

Executives hold digital business strategies in high regard; in fact, more than half of those surveyed say two of these trends – big data/analytics and digital marketing/social tools – are at least a top ten corporate priority.

And they’re not turning to these devices as defensive tactic; instead, executives say their companies embrace these trends as “offensive strategic weapons.” According to the authors of the study, “about half of respondents indicate their organizations’ primary objective in addressing big data, digital marketing, or flexible platforms is using the technology to build a competitive advantage in their existing business.”

Overall, it seems that the C-suite believes these new technologies have the ability to transform their business.

Digital divide

But valuing these tactics is just about as far as the concurrence goes among the c-suite.

According to the study, 40% of CEOs expect investments of at least 3% in these three areas, while only 20% of CFOs and just 12% of CIOs say the same. Analysts write that this discrepancy “suggests the management team may lack clarity or a consistent concept about the investments needed to support digital business.”

And when executive team isn’t fully behind a strategy, the pieces don’t come together and execution is lacking. The C-suite’s enthusiasm for digital is a positive stride, but until teams find themselves on the same page, digital programming will continue to struggle.