As the world has become more connected, the importance of remaining up-to-date in a digital economy has been drilled into regional economies – from the biggest corporations to the smallest start-ups.

What the Digital IQ report reveals is just how various nations stand when it comes to keeping up to date and competitive with digital trends – but also the details of ensuring coordination at management level.

A cursory glance of the data makes it clear – North America is the undisputed leader when it comes to digital intelligence and acumen.

The overall confidence in businesses’ digital acumen is much higher than in other nations at 77%. In Asia and Europe, this is just 63%, 47% in Africa and 36% in Latin America.

Most importantly, innovation success is directly tied to business value.  In North America 55% of respondents measure innovation success by the amount of value added to a business, compared to just 46% globally.

This is no surprise. A huge amount of technological innovation is located in North America, specifically Silicon Valley, where most of the world’s technology advances are located and an intense amount of innovation occurs regularly.

However, there are plenty of areas for improvement, even in the world’s technology leader.

Respondents said 46% of projects were delivered on time, compared to 67% in Africa and 76% in Asia – both of those areas were more likely to use agile processes than other areas as well.

Asian businesses were also more likely to deliver projects at or below budget, at 58%, compared to North America at just 31% – this is only slightly ahead of Africa at 29%.

There are also significant lags with regard to c-suite relationships. North American respondents were less likely to say relationships between CIOs and other c-suite members were “very strong”

And only 40% of North American respondents said relationships between CIOs and CMOs were “strong” or “quite strong”, compared to 51% globally.

Although North America has dominated as the technology and digital leader, there are still more strides to take. Connection between high-level executives is necessary for there to be a cohesive, strategic plan that flows through the rest of the organisation.

Digital success is found not just in innovation, but ensuring corporate culture has digital at its very core. This can only be achieved with high-level communication and coordination.

You can access regional results from the Digital IQ survey here.



John Riccio

John is a former partner at PwC Australia and the founder of Digital Pulse.

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