This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Record.
What are some of the benefits of a digital business model?
The world’s six biggest brands are all digital businesses, so we know there are huge prizes to be won when companies use digital technology to execute their strategic vision. Digital technologies help companies to drive efficiencies in specific processes, empowering their employees to work more productively and better serve their customers. Hence, customer satisfaction levels also improve.
What are your top tips for companies wanting to go digital?
Deploying technology for technology’s sake won’t work. To ensure success, companies should first outline their strategic vision, and then evaluate which specific technologies can help them to achieve those aims. A powerful way of doing this is to crowdsource ideas from employees and customers. Not only does this ensure that the company’s digital business model will enable it to meet customer needs, but it also guarantees staff buy-in and engagement throughout the transformation.
To stay at the top of their game, companies must be committed to being outward-looking visionaries, building strong partner and supplier networks, and proactively looking out for, and experimenting with, emerging technologies. It’s also critical for them to invest in innovation acceleration and curation, seeking innovation inspiration from start-ups and well-established companies.
Which mainstream digital technologies should companies invest in, and why?
Most companies are looking to increase operational efficiency, analyse data, and enhance the customer journey. Automation solutions are perfect for streamlining specific tasks, or enterprise-wide processes, and making them more efficient. Data analytics, data modelling and 3D visualisation tools make it easy for companies to extract actionable insights from their data so they can solve business challenges, or identify new revenue and customer engagement opportunities. Meanwhile, omnichannel solutions will help them to create a consistent end-to-end customer experience across all physical and digital channels.
What will a typical business model look like by 2020?
Currently, digital maturity varies across different industries, but we know change is only going to happen more rapidly in future. Companies will be forced to think more innovatively, and to tailor their business models to put the needs of customers and employees at the centre of everything they do. By 2020, forward-looking organisations will also connect formerly siloed departments and systems to enable staff to work collaboratively, efficiently and productively.