In this report, we investigate how the digital transformation impacts headquarters (HQs). Drawing on 85 survey responses from corporate and divisional HQ managers in Austria, we find that the digital transformation is expected to fundamentally change the HQ of the future in terms of how the HQ will derive decisions, how it will interact with its subunits, and how the HQ will add value to the firm. The majority of firms see the digital transformation primarily as an opportunity to increase the value-added that the HQ generates for its subunits as opposed to increased cost efficiency. Additionally, the responding HQ managers foresee a much more influential role of HQs vis-à-vis its subunits, based on better and more timely information, as well as more room for strategic thinking. Finally, our results suggest that many firms need to put more effort into digitalizing their HQ. Only 26% of the responding firms seem to have developed a clear idea what the digital transformation means for their HQ. These advanced firms see the highest potential in digitalizing the HQ. To this end, the biggest barrier to stepping up the digital transformation of the HQ seems to be the lack of digital talent.
|Series||Study Report. Institute for International Business. Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)|