Why digital agility beats digital maturity for enterprises

Traditional organisations are being threatened by new business models and customer expectations. Episerver’s Joey Moore explains that these firms must become more agile if they want to stay ahead

Joey Moore
By Joey Moore on 05 August 2019
Why digital agility beats digital maturity for enterprises

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox. 

The last 10 years have brought unprecedented disruption to the world of business and much of the change has been driven by technology. Traditional organisations in every industry are being threatened by new business models and changes in customer expectations. v

These expectations are ever-evolving and often based on the last great experience a customer had. This is why organisations shouldn’t aim to be just ‘digitally mature’ – this is limited to purely knowing about what needs to be done. ‘Digital agility’, on the other hand, is about having the right people, processes and tools in place to do it. v

The companies and organisations that are successfully navigating this complex and ever-changing set of consumer journey expectations often have one similar and obvious trait: they move fast.

Of the businesses we work with at Episerver the ‘why’ of digital transformation is often clear enough, as it is not only about defending a current market position but also about going on the offensive, developing products and services that the modern business-to-consumer and business-to-business customer demands. v

What this means for the day-to-day business world can be broken down into three key themes. 

First, they need to understand how markets change. Specifically, tune in to what their customers are looking for. Heineken did just this when it saw the trend in craft and micro-brewing encroach on its traditional market. Rather than try to compete at the corporate level, it spun out an autonomous company, Beerwulf. As a result, Beerwulf has been able to operate and respond like a start-up unconstrained by the corporate structure. 

Second, they need to take advantage of the cloud. Organisations can focus on driving customer experience (CX), rather than diverting resources to keep the infrastructure wheels turning. Swedish fashion brand NA-KD.com can manage 50,000 transactions per day and deliver a fresh, rich CX without compromising on security and performance.

Finally, it’s about moving beyond business buzzwords to actual business value. Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been hot topics for the last couple of years and are providing very real returns for Finnish wholesale company Motoral. When it first started transacting online in 2014, there was no way it could effectively merchandise 25,000 products. Today, 20% of all orders contain a product that was recommended by an algorithm. 

The next decade is likely to be as, or even more disruptive, than the previous 10 years. Becoming digitally agile will allow you to continue to survive and start to thrive.   

Joey Moore is the head of evangelism, EMEA and APAC at Episerver

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