Agile digital platforms will boost revenues, say CxOs

200 global business leaders surveyed expect technology that integrates workflows and people to rally shares and growth in spite of pandemic

Businesses that invested in digital platforms are reporting higher customer satisfaction & profits.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden shift to digitization compelled many businesses to take steps to improve agility—the strategic imperative to survive and thrive in challenging times. Implementing digital enterprise platforms was a common strategy.

Now, organizations that invested in such digital platforms are reporting wide-reaching benefits. That’s according to a global survey conducted by ESI ThoughtLab of 200 C-level leaders.

While most C-level leaders agree that digital enterprise platforms improved agility, CEOs are most likely to report improvement. That is especially true in areas like employee satisfaction. However, CEOs agree with their peers that there is more work to be done to fully realize the benefits of digital enterprise platforms in the years to come.

Enterprise platforms improve agility

Over the past year, organizations invested in digital enterprise platforms to cushion the shock of the pandemic. These platforms are designed to support the business by fostering collaboration across functions; consolidating processes and IT; integrating workflows, and promoting agility.

CEOs are optimistic that digital enterprise platforms will strongly contribute to their business’s success in the years to come.

But those who invested in digital enterprise platforms did so against a backdrop of extreme uncertainty. Until recently, the ROI was an open question. These organizations are now reporting wide-reaching benefits: higher employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

CEOs are much more likely to highlight certain benefits than their peers. Notably, 85% cited improved employee satisfaction. That’s compared to 40% of CCOs, 50% of CHROs, 60% of CIOs, and 65% of COOs.

Building an agile business future

CEOs are optimistic that digital enterprise platforms will strongly contribute to their business’s success in the years to come. Compared to their peers, almost most four times as many CEOs say platforms will improve scalability, while five times as many are confident that platforms will improve cross-enterprise visibility.

In the next year or two, CEOs anticipate that their business will reap the financial benefits of digital enterprise platforms. Among the C-level leaders surveyed, 45% of CEOs expect platforms to increase revenue in the coming years.

More than twice as many firms are expecting revenue gains than before the pandemic, and three times as many are anticipating rises in shareholder value and market share.

Challenges remain

Despite this optimism, C-level leaders acknowledge there is a lot of work to be done to fully realize these benefits.

Only 2 out of 10 organizations have “fully or largely” integrated core areas into their digital platform. Leaders have integrated technology and data, employee and customer experiences, and marketing and customer service at a much higher rate than other functions.

35%

of businesses plan to create enterprise platforms that integrate multiple functions over the next two years

Fortunately, C-level leaders recognize that they must integrate functions into their platform to boost agility in the future. Over the next two years, 35% of businesses plan to create enterprise platforms that integrate multiple functions. That is almost double the number that have done so over the past year. Even more encouraging: more than 8 in 10 will integrate technology and data, while at least 40% will integrate experiences, finance, marketing, and human resources.