In the era of digital business, where growth and limitless outcomes are desired, it is crucial to reevaluate the concept of digital transformation. Although widely promoted as a solution, digital transformation often is a one-off program that falls short of achieving sustainable results. It’s time to shift our perspective and embrace digital business, supported by a robust methodology known as the Digital Business Methodology (DBM). Prominent companies, such as Gartner and McKinsey, have recognized the limitations of the traditional digital transformation approach and are promoting new, more effective, approaches to digital business. As a follow up to the blog, “Digital Business Methodology: The Pathway to Unlocking the Power of Digital Business,” I shed light on the crucial differences between digital business and digital transformation.
To start, it’s essential to distinguish between digital business and digital transformation. While the term “digital transformation” is commonly associated with adopting digital capabilities, it often neglects the need for a business-oriented approach to achieve tangible results. Technology-based transformation, prioritizing technology over core business objectives, is inefficient and typically leads to a siloed approach. The lack of business ownership, collaboration, and alignment across the enterprise hampers growth and innovation. Many companies with significant investments in technology found this path time-consuming, prone to delays, and ultimately fell short of goals, resulting in frustration and cancellation of these projects.
CEOs and C-Suite executives must shift their focus away from a technology-first approach associated with digital transformation and instead embrace digital business with its emphasis on delivering results with consistency, speed, and scale. Digital business can be done separately from the existing complex, siloed ecosystem to create data led innovation, new products, and growth without disruption. This approach is the pathway to cultivate an outcome-driven, collaborative culture—the foundation for forging a lasting competitive advantage. At the core of digital business lies the DBM, providing the framework necessary for achieving business outcomes and success.
DBM serves as a holistic approach for adopting and implementing digital business. It offers a defined path that converges data, technology, and people, delivering an outcome-driven, incremental approach that delivers results with speed. It is business-led with a guided, adaptable ideation-to-deployment ecosystem that fosters seamless collaboration and agile culture across business owners, engineers, analysts, scientists, and operational teams. It also ensures strict governance, engineering rigor, quality, security, and compliance enabling companies to operate with higher productivity and predictability. DBM opens the door for the single source of truth (SSOT) and data democratization empowering users across the company to leverage data in more effective ways with advanced tools like AI/ML. DBM is empowered and enforced through a self-service cloud-based digital business platform (DBP).
Building an enterprise-wide data ecosystem optimized for AI/ML brings numerous competitive benefits including greater agility, and faster responsiveness. Informed decision-making, increased productivity through automation, personalized customer experiences, uncovering insights, and driving innovation. To construct a data-driven culture and ecosystem, investments should prioritize data quality, security, and governance, integration of all data sources, scalable infrastructure, and upskilling employees or partnering with data science experts.
Companies quick to jump on the AI bandwagon expecting immediate results before they have built a solid data foundation and a SSOT will be disappointed. The lack of attention to a carefully planned data ecosystem can lead to biased AI models, inaccurate predictions, and poor decision-making. Low-quality data hampers insights, decision-making capabilities, and reliable automation. Companies that make technology investments in their current siloed, complex ecosystem don’t achieve the outcomes, productivity improvements, and other benefits they seek.
Digital business is a journey to continuously increase competitiveness and create value through an incremental approach. With a focus on tangible outcomes and a business-led agile culture, digital business driven by the DBM with its holistic approach becomes the primary driver of growth. Companies are awakening to the significance of adopting the DBM as the ultimate guide to propel their digital and data capabilities to unprecedented heights. CEOs need to lead the way and embrace this new DBM perspective to achieve competitive advantages, greater innovation, and accelerated growth.