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New Deloitte report finds digital transformation can open up US$1.25 trillion in additional market capitalization

Unleashing value from digital transformation: Paths and pitfalls

Key highlights:
  • Deloitte analyzed more than 4,650 financial disclosures from global organizations, finding the link between strategy and action is key to maximizing value from digital transformation
  • The right combination of digital transformation actions can generate up to US$1.25 trillion in new value, while the wrong combinations can erode that value by over US$1.5 trillion
  • According to Deloitte’s analysis, getting digital transformation right takes more than ambition and bold investments

Deloitte’s Unleashing value from digital transformation: Paths and pitfalls finds that the connection between strategy and action is the determining factor in deriving value from digital transformation efforts. According to the analysis, the right combination of digital transformation actions can unlock as much as US$1.25 trillion in additional market capitalization across Fortune 500 companies. Alternatively, the wrong combinations can erode market value, putting more than US$1.5 trillion at risk across Fortune 500 companies—demonstrating the importance of strategically approaching digital transformation.

“Digital transformation is continuous—however, the scale and stakes are ever increasing. For organizations, finding the inherent value of technology innovations, and not letting it slip away, is crucial to a company’s long-term growth,” says Tim Smith, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and head of Technology Strategy & Business Transformation, Deloitte US. “What’s make-or-break for leaders is understanding which moves can bolster and which can erode enterprise value. Connecting digital strategy and action is a proven way for leaders to generate a tremendous return for their stakeholders.”

Deloitte’s analysis focused on the individual and collective impacts of three core factors:

  • Digital strategy, or the enterprise impacts that arise from digital transformation;
  • Technology aligned to strategy, or the technology domains that come with digital transformation; and
  • Digital change capability, or an organization’s ability to adapt to and adopt new processes, resources, and ways of working in light of digital transformation.
How the core factors drive value individually

Deloitte found a significant positive impact on valuation when a company shared its digital strategy in its financial disclosures. While digital strategy is where many organizations begin their journey, only 44% have a high maturity related to digital strategy. The market understands the impact of “digital” and gives credit to management for prioritizing the modernization of the business.

When technology is aligned to strategy it can also dramatically impact its valuation, evidenced by two times higher valuations when companies mentioned it in financial disclosures. This allows stakeholders to see where the enterprise invests its capital as many of these technologies are leading-edge, suggesting a forward-looking approach. If an organization can only focus on one of the three aforementioned core factors highlighted in the report at a time, Deloitte’s analysis demonstrates that aligning technology investments with the enterprise strategy is most beneficial. Only 34% of Fortune 500 companies analyzed showed signs of being strategic about their technology investments in financial disclosures—highlighting significant room for growth in this area.

Conversely, when analyzing disclosures that articulated a digital change capability related to operations, processes, and workforce strategies in general terms or without reference to specific digital actions, Deloitte found that market capitalization eroded. When observed individually, digital change was almost three times less impactful than digital strategy. According to Deloitte’s analysis, changing for sake of change, and without purpose, is insufficient for stakeholders. Organizations can reap greater rewards in the market by being specific with stakeholders.

How the core factors shape value collectively

Deloitte analyzed combinations of these same three core factors that could most positively or negatively impact an organization’s market value. The most positive combination is the “digital trifecta,” which includes all three core factors: digital strategy, technology aligned to strategy, and digital change. Organizations that demonstrate all three of these traits saw a 5% lift in market relative to their peers, all other things being held equal.

The worst possible outcome stemmed from a lack of digital change capability despite an emphasis on the other two factors. Digital strategy and technology aligned to strategy without a digital change capability results in a significant erosion of enterprise value. The losses are 10 times greater than those seen with the other value destroyer: digital change on its own. The most negative combination poses a 9% value erosion risk that could cost Fortune 500 firms US$1.5 trillion in value. This revealed the dual nature of digital change capability as both a value risk and enabler that is best employed in the service of the digital strategy and technology investments aligned to strategy.

Unleashing value from digital transformation: Paths and pitfalls
Unleashing value from digital transformation: Paths and pitfalls
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