NEW YORK, NY (14 February 2023) – Released today, 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 capitalisation 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 organisations, 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 focussed on the individual and collective impacts of three core factors:
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 organisations 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 prioritising the modernisation 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 organisation 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 analysed showed signs of being strategic about their technology investments in financial disclosures—highlighting significant room for growth in this area.
Conversely, when analysing 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 capitalisation 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. Organisations can reap greater rewards in the market by being specific with stakeholders.
How the core factors shape value collectively
Deloitte analysed combinations of these same three core factors that could most positively or negatively impact an organisation’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. Organisations 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.
Deloitte’s research shows that the power of digital strategy, brought to life by specific technology investments aligned to strategy and underpinned by digital change capabilities, can meaningfully shift a company's valuation. For more information on how to effectively capitalise on these findings, please visit: https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/our-thinking/insights/topics/digital-transformation/digital-transformation-value-roi.html.
Deloitte applied natural language processing to more than three million pages of financial disclosures from 4,651 US and global firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange to uncover new insights on how to ensure that digital transformation investments pay off. Specifically, Deloitte looked at how organisations talked about their digital strategy; existing or planned technology investments aligned with their larger business strategy; and the preparedness of their people and processes to undergo such a change. Deloitte then applied a financial model to determine correlations between these factors and the companies’ market capitalisation.