There is a big shift in how businesses are growing and responding to opportunities in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. It is the emergence of digital business, which is focused on simplification and using real-time business intelligence to create engaging value-added products for customers. This approach isn’t expensive, doesn’t take long, and will not disrupt the current business. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of developing a digital business capability that can deliver specific outcomes.
Although the majority of business leaders say digitalization is a company priority only a fraction has been successful in their efforts. Digital transformation has become an overused buzzword that focuses on technology and a big bang approach rather than how the business comes together to take ownership of the outcomes. Leaders recognize that digital business is the way forward and it creates new value chains and business opportunities that traditional approaches cannot offer. It allows companies to leverage data intelligently and make smarter decisions – all of which leads to higher growth and better profitability.
Taking a fresh perspective, the digital business brings results quickly and more effectively because it enables continuous innovation and responsiveness to opportunities that boost revenue growth and market share. The key to sustainable success comes from a collaboration between technology and the business that focuses on specific outcomes. This is made possible by bringing together data from various sources to make better and faster decisions. It also increases the focus on delivering consumer preferences, expanding business through additional channels, and improving capabilities that support core operations – all utilizing existing assets.
Digital Business vs Digital Transformation
It is important to distinguish between digital transformation and digital business; on the surface, they may seem the same, but they are not. Digital transformation is being applied to any and every technology initiative yet only a fraction of digital transformation efforts meet expectations. In fact, responding to COVID-19 has raised awareness within organizations that digital business enablement leads to faster, positive outcomes. Digital business fuels growth by opening a pathway to new frontiers. Key behavioural patterns ascribed to digital business include:
1. Simplification and continuous innovation through experimentation to create real-time business intelligence and launching improved products. This creates high-value models for customers and ensures a high probability of success which can be launched more easily and quickly.
2. Delivering specific business outcomes whether launching a new product, business or making better decisions. Collaboration between technology and business in agile, short sprints creates real-time business intelligence. Coupled with AI and applying the right algorithms to provide better predictive modelling for delivering specific business outcomes.
3. Utilizing practitioners who take an end-to-end perspective and are experienced in bringing agile digital teams and business partners together to collaborate, iterate, and create solutions. It is a product approach with engineering discipline, bringing security and compliance together on a digital platform that simplifies the process from ideation to launch.
4. Nurturing a continuous discipline as a new way to do business, not a one-time transformation. Businesses that are adopting this approach start in a specific area, then as benefits are realized the rest of the business adapts. Creating an agile culture will accelerate the ability to create new business models leading to accelerated growth and end-consumer benefits.
The appeal of digital business is gaining momentum as companies realize how it can simplify processes and accelerate growth and profitability. People and cloud-based digital platforms are the building blocks of how large or medium enterprises make the transition. This also fundamentally changes how enterprise leadership thinks about the IT relationship transitioning from alignment to integration. Collaborative solutions, or iterating in short sprints, will create results in a matter of weeks without the major expense of a big bang approach.
Digital businesses create competitive advantages based on a combination of collaboration between technology and business teams, being focused on specific outcomes, and bringing together digital and physical resources. Substantial ROI comes from delivering fast bite-sized outcomes, rather than taking a big-bang approach. Digital business is simply a new and better way to accelerate business growth and profitability.