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McKinsey-C-Suite-Involvement-Digital-Biz-Initiatives-Sept2013CEOs are becoming more personally involved in digital business initiatives, according to a recent study from the McKinsey Group. The survey, of 850 C-level executives from around the world, found 31% saying that CEOs personally sponsor such initiatives at their organization, a marked increase from 23% indicating that to be the case last year. Interestingly, respondents also suggested that CIOs have  more direct engagement in these activities than CMOs.

The study examined participation in 5 digital-enterprise trends:

  • Big data and advanced analytics;
  • Digital engagement of customers;
  • Digital engagement of employees and external partners;
  • Automation; and
  • Digital innovation.

63% of respondents indicated that CIOs are either supportive and sponsoring these initiatives (26%) or supportive and directly engaged (37%) in them, with 54% concurring with respect to CMO involvement. (An analysis of the CMO/CIO relationship can be found here.)

Also of note: this year, 37% said the CFO is sponsoring digital business initiatives or otherwise directly engaged, up from 32% last year.

Overall, the digital trends measured in the survey appears to be a strategic priority for the C-suite. Customer engagement ranked as the top trend, with 56% rating it among their top-10 company priorities.

The study results bear out that trend towards prioritization of digital customer engagement. Customer engagement practices – particularly positioning and branding material consistently across online and offline channels, using advanced customer targeting to advertise, and making personalized information or targeted offers accessible online – are seeing greater deployment at scale across enterprises, as opposed to selective or isolated deployments.

The use of big-data applications – such as improving budgeting, forecasting, or planning processes – has also grown in enterprise-wide deployment.

About the Data: The online survey was in the field from April 2 to April 12, 2013, and garnered responses from 850 C-level executives representing the full range of industries, regions, and company sizes; 8.6% of these executives have a specific technology focus. To adjust for differences in response rates, the data are weighted by the contribution of each respondent’s nation to global GDP.

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