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According to Korn Ferry, digital disruption has emerged as the defining business issue of our age. However, organizations are struggling to manage digital change and create the conditions required to assure long-term success.

To help navigate these challenges, Korn Ferry and the Korn Ferry Institute partnered with Oxford Analytica to create the Korn Ferry Digital Sustainability Index (DSI) to measure the extent to which businesses are able to successfully lead and respond to emerging business opportunities and threats.


Among its key findings, the DSI proved that:

  • A 10-point rise in DSI score is associated with a 1.5 percentage point increase in profitability margins (EBITDA).
  • Empowerment & Alignment, which measures how well employees understand their contributions to the business’s journey, is the dimension most closely correlated with overall DSI score, demonstrating, according to Korn Ferry, that people are the lynchpin of digital sustainability.
  • Digital sustainability within the Industrials, Technology, and Life Sciences & Healthcare sectors is being held back by poor Connectivity. Businesses must focus on effective ideas-sharing — internally, between industry peers, and across borders.

The Index proves that high performers in the dimensions of sustainable transformation witness a 5.6 percentage point increase in EBITDA versus the low performers.

The Korn Ferry Digital Sustainability Index is based on economic modeling commissioned by Korn Ferry, and designed by the Korn Ferry Institute and Oxford Analytica, leveraging our expertise for developing proprietary company-level datasets and indices. This meta-study 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.

Oxford Analytica conducted extensive meta-analysis to construct the Korn Ferry Digital Sustainability Index (DSI). The index ranks 362 organizations across five industries and 14 countries on the five dimensions of digital sustainability. Each industry and country is ranked based on its DSI score out of 100 — reflecting its overall digital sustainability and performance in each dimension.

Next Steps

Digital Sustainability Index

The Client

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations, and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our more than 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group, and Futurestep divisions.
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