What factors have contributed to the success – or failure – of past digital initiatives? C-suite executives asked this question were most likely to cite senior-management interest or desire to change practices as a top-3 factor of success, according to a recent McKinsey & Company study. Lack of senior management buy-in was also the top factor contributing to the failure of such initiatives. Considering that respondents separately indicated that CEOs are taking a more active role in new digital initiatives, that’s a positive sign for future efforts.
After senior management buy-in (32%), the most commonly-cited factors of success also were managerial: internal leadership (30%); alignment between organizational structure and initiative’s goals (21%); and good management of and sufficient organizational support for the initiative (also 21%).
By contrast, the leading factors of failure (after senior management buy-in – 23%) were the lack of technology infrastructure and IT systems (22%) and quality data (21%), although the absence of internal leadership also ranked relatively highly (17%). Those results imply that not only is senior management buy-in necessary to avoid failure, but so is cooperation with the IT department. But, a recent study from Accenture suggest that such collaboration is fraught with obstacles, with 44% of CMOs surveyed saying there is no need for alignment with the CIO, indicating that there’s more work to be done on this end.
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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