India outperforms BRIC in Digital Sustainability Index

India has outperformed BRIC countries like China, Russia and Brazil with scores of 38 but has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with US, UK, Netherlands, Australia and Germany

India ranks 9th in the overall Digital Sustainability Index of 14 countries and is ahead of China and Brazil in connectivity and is also ahead of Russia in terms of agility.

India is the poster child of a mobile-first population but its digital infrastructure, connected business practices, skills support, empowerment and focus on digital working strategy has not caught up as demonstrated by poor rankings in agility (12th), connectivity (9th), empowerment & alignment (9th) and discipline & focus (9th).

India’s Digital Score: 

Parameter – Rank – Score 

Agility – 12 – 17/100

Connectivity – 9 – 42/100

Discipline & Focus – 9 – 33/100

Empowerment & Alignment – 9 – 54/100

Openness & Transparency – 7 – 42/100

India Overall Rank – 9 – 38/100

Source: Korn Ferry Digital Sustainability Index 

With impressive overall DSI scores above 80 (US and UK) and 70 (Netherlands, Australia and Germany), the Index’s top five countries are pulling away from the rest of the world. With no rankings below sixth place between them, consistent performance across all the Index’s measures drives digital sustainability in these countries.

France (sixth) struggles with building networks and collaboration, placing 10th in the connectivity dimension. However, action is being taken to become more digitally sustainable, with venture capital and private equity firms investing in making the country a true digital hub.

The Middle East is a tale of two halves, placing a respectable seventh overall but with widely varying performance between the dimensions. There are highs and lows too for Japan (eighth) and Russia (10th). A clear focus for the future in Japan is improving openness & transparency — adapting now- traditional working practices in some of the world’s original digital companies — whereas for India and Russia, agility will be the key.

Mexico struggles with digital sustainability, scoring less than a third as many points as its neighbor and placing 12th. Its bottom rank in the agility dimension suggests the country’s hierarchical corporate cultures are stalling collaboration and ideas-sharing and preventing a move toward a more digitally sustainable way of doing business.

Placed at 13th, Brazil has a way to go to prepare itself for success in the future. An overall score of 22 reflects low DSI scores in each dimension, the highest for openness & transparency (28) and the lowest for connectivity (15).

Turkish firms struggle the most, coming in last place overall, as well as for connectivity, discipline & focus and empowerment & alignment. A glimmer of hope comes from its eighth-place ranking for agility, suggesting it has the potential to adapt to market and environmental changes, and timely decision-making and execution.

Digital Sustainability Index 2017:

Rank – Country – Score 

  1. US – 89
  2. UK – 86
  3. Netherlands – 79
  4. Australia – 75
  5. Germany – 74
  6. France – 55
  7. Middle East – 50
  8. Japan – 42
  9. India – 38
  10. Russia – 37
  11. China – 30
  12. Mexico – 26
  13. Brazil – 22
  14. Turkey – 16

Source: Korn Ferry Digital Sustainability Index 

In terms of sector wise, financial sector leads in digital sustainability globally, staying ahead of the IT industry, while the consumer durables industry is the least sustainable.

“Being digitally mature today is not enough: the new economy demands companies that are built to change, forever iterating,” said Melissa Swift, Korn Ferry Hay Group Global Digital Solutions Leader.

“Leaders must recognize that with new products, services and brands entering the market at lightning speed, transformation is needed not just once, but over and over again,” added Swift.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed 362 companies in 14 countries and across five industries. The ranking is based on five core leadership and organizational dimensions of digital sustainability: Agility, Connectivity, Discipline & Focus, Openness & Transparency and Empowerment & Alignment. The Index focuses on organization’s ability to continuously adapt and thrive in the digital economy as true digital sustainability demands constant reinvention.

Korn Ferry’s Digital Sustainability Index (DSI) is based on economic modeling commissioned by Korn Ferry, designed by the Korn Ferry Institute and Oxford Analytica. This research redefines transformation in the context of significant and ongoing digital change, and establishes digital sustainability—an organization’s ability to continuously adapt and thrive in the digital economy—as a critical driver of financial success now and in the future.

The study combines proprietary Korn Ferry and publicly available data to quantify digital sustainability. It benchmarks 362 companies across five industries and 14 countries on the five dimensions that drive digital sustainability. Each industry and country is ranked based on its DSI score out of 100—reflecting its digital sustainability and performance in each dimension.

The Index shows a correlation to profitability. High performers in the Digital Sustainability Index see a 5.6 percentage point increase in profit margin (EBITDA) versus the low performers.

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