Today’s COVID-19 crisis demands a rapid, comprehensive response and Bionic Champions are better positioned to take decisive and effective action, according to a new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The report, titled ‘Bionic Champions in the Middle East: Lessons for all on capturing digital opportunities,’ explains that digitally mature companies deliver stronger business performance and organizations across the region must simultaneously elevate their resilience and focus on business outcomes in light of unprecedented challenges.
Bionic companies combine the capabilities of humans and machines to develop superior customer experiences and relationships, more productive operations, and dramatically increased rates of innovation. As part of a recent digital maturity study centered around BCG’s proprietary Digital Acceleration Index (DAI) framework, BCG surveyed 150 companies in the Middle East, with responses used to identify Bionic Champions – those most digitally mature with DAI scores of 67 and above were compared with Laggards that scored 43 and below.
As per the findings, the technology, consumer, and financial sectors boasted the highest proportion of Bionic Champions. Bionic Champions in the Middle East scored three times higher than Laggards in performance relative to industry peers across various competitive factors, including cost efficiency, customer satisfaction, product quality, and time to market. Furthermore, they also indicated equally high market performance achievements, as measured by sales growth, market share, profitability, and shareholder value.
“With COVID-19’s economic and business impacts, workforce disruptions, and energy sector shocks, companies in the Middle East face urgent and unprecedented challenges,” said Rami Mourtada, Partner and Associate Director, BCG. “Leveraging digital boosters to capitalize on digital benefits is essential as they navigate today’s challenges and build a higher-performing and more resilient tomorrow. Whatever the current maturity level, there is a way forward, with new possibilities for Bionic Champions and Laggards alike. There has never been more urgency to become bionic, nor has there been such potential for greater rewards.”
The first digital booster is people and upskilling, with areas such as marketing, product development, and service channels requiring sophisticated people in working with data and adept at using technology. Of the Bionic Champions BCG identified, 87 percent had more than 15 percent of FTEs in digital roles, and digital, design and technical skills are becoming even more paramount. The second booster is core process transformation – although most companies employ some level of process digitalization, 80 percent of Bionic Champions have or can deploy digital solutions at scale, which is essential to driving efficiency, consistency, and customer satisfaction.
New digital revenue is the third booster, with 32 percent of Digital Champions revealing that revenue growth, including new revenue from digital solutions, is ahead of their respective industries overall, and more than double the rate of Laggards. As business models shift from straightforward service delivery to cultivating customer relationships, new ways of using technology data to connect with customers are emerging. Technology and data investments are the fourth boosters, and BCG has also found that Bionic Champions’ investment in technology, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) averages 63 percent of overall investment compared to 17 percent for Laggards.
“The benefits that increased digital maturity offers in terms of efficiency, customer satisfaction, innovation, and sales growth are significant in the face of cost, workforce, and demand challenges stemming from COVID-19, and recent energy sector shocks,” said David Panhans, managing director and partner, BCG.
Whether organizations have already started on the path towards digital transformation or re-orient and carve out investment to commence the digital journey strongly, we have identified four practical, proven digital ‘boosters’ that can be leveraged to drive and accelerate Bionic transformation and enhanced performance.”