The most digitally mature firms saw valuations 23% above pre-crisis levels, on average, within six months of the pandemic’s start, said BCG recently when releasing the results of a study.
These results contrast with the growth of the least digitally mature firms, which saw an increase of only 7%, on average, the firm pointed out.
The study, named Digital Acceleration Index (DAI) included about 2,300 companies globally across ten industries, BCG said.
The DAI study found that the most digitally mature firms outperformed peers across nine performance indicators, including revenue growth, enterprise value, and the return on investment of digital projects, BCG noted.
For these companies, the study found their strength comes from operating as a bionic company, meaning that they blend new technologies with human capabilities, BCG added.
In addition, bionic companies have a capability that we call human-tech augmentation—employees naturally and continually look for ways to integrate technology and data into their day-to-day work, the firm said.
“These findings show unequivocally that companies across sectors that leverage the power of human-tech augmentation to transform will outperform,” said Michael Urban, the DAI lead for North America at Boston Consulting Group.
An illustrative example
The human-tech augmentation approach has three stages: manual work, automation, and optimisation, according to BCG, illustrating that with the following warehouse example.
Manual Work: Humans manage the warehouse and sort packages.
Automation: Humans manage the warehouse and robots are deployed to automate manual labor.
Optimisation: Humans manage the warehouse and robots augment decision making.
Digital maturity by region and industry
While US companies lag Asian companies in terms of digital maturity, the DAI scores of US companies are similar to those of companies in Europe, BCG said.
In the US, the most digitally mature industries include financial institutions, technology, and telecommunications, while energy, media and entertainment, and the public sector are the least digitally mature, the firm added.
According to BCG, the hallmarks of the most successful, bionic companies across regions include:
Investing significantly in technology, data, and human capabilities. Of the bionic companies in the DAI survey, 59% had more than 20% of their employees in digital roles in 2020.
Putting AI at the core of the digital transformation. Of the bionic companies in the study, 54% plan to upskill more than 20% of their workforce in AI and machine learning.
Establishing governance and adopting a platform operating model. Compared with laggards, twice as many bionic companies have established the roles of head of digital and chief data officer.
Connecting technology and human capabilities. Bionic companies have a culture in which employees are empowered and expected to look for ways to integrate technology and data into their day-to-day work.