There is a sharp divide in the digital strategies of better performing companies (Leaders) versus the laggards (Followers), with 80% of Leaders more willing to collaborate with competitors compared to Followers (23%).

This is among the findings of global study titled “Where, How and What Leaders Will Compete With in the New Decade: Findings from the TCS 2021 Global Leadership Study”, published by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

Brought out by the TCS Thought Leadership Institute, which conducts primary research to help organisations transform for long-term, sustainable growth, the study examines how large global enterprises have recalibrated their competitive strategies through 2025, following the pandemic. Specifically, it explores how management teams across the world are striking a balance between innovation and optimisation in four areas: digital strategies, digital offerings, digital ways of conducting business, and leadership approaches.

“Senior executives are always challenged to lead their organisations forward to be more competitive, and increasing digitization only accelerates that momentum,” says Krishnan Ramanujam, business group head: business and technology Services at TCS. “This study captures the pulse of global business leaders and their nearly ubiquitous belief that massive digital opportunities abound in the next five years – and their company culture must embrace an innovation mindset.”

Key findings of the study include:

* Innovation was ranked as the most important aspect of organisation culture, followed by Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, Quality Orientation, and Customer-Centricity. Leaders ranked Customer-Centricity as the top cultural priority, above Shareholder Value, while Followers ranked it number six, indicating that higher-performing companies embed a “customer first” mindset across the organisation.

* By 2025, respondents believe 41% of their revenue will come from new offerings. Within that, Leaders expect 44% revenue from new offerings, while Followers expect 40%.

* The respondents projected that by 2025, 46% of their revenue will come from purely digital products or services. Leaders expect it to be even higher at 56%.

* When asked where they need to more effectively use data, respondents ranked Digital Marketing Campaigns first, followed by Sales Initiatives and Customer Service, suggesting that their companies need to improve the way customer data is used to create demand and improve customer experience.

The report also offers data-based recommendations to help shape the strategy of forward-thinking executives on how to take their organizations to higher performance.

TCS’ 2021 Global Leadership Study surveyed more than 1,200 CEOs and senior executives from a range of industries including (but not limited to) retail, manufacturing, insurance, banking and financial, healthcare and more, from four regions across the globe–North America (US, Canada); UK, Europe (Germany, Netherlands, France); APAC (India, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan); and LATAM (Colombia, Brazil, Mexico). Respondents’ companies had annual revenues over $1-billion, with an average revenue of $14-billion.