Companies, departments, and individuals need to get ahead of each shifting digital trend to stay relevant. New business models are challenging traditional business thinking, and many organizations are struggling to keep pace. Forrester research found that only 27 percent of operating companies have a working digital strategy.
Many companies risk losing their leadership position by having a competitor disrupt the market before them. If companies don’t change proactively, they risk that other companies will change them. But there is always the challenge of knowing what changes to make and how to manage resistance to changing familiar business processes. Here are five guidelines for preparing for digital transformation.
Transform for competitive advantage
It’s important not to change for the sake of change, but to have an objective to optimize a business process that will increase the perceived value of a company’s products or services. Not everything that is technically possible makes sense, not everything that makes sense generates revenues – not everything that generates additional revenues follows established regulations for data protection, etc. The best litmus test for which changes to make are the ones that will create sustainable differentiation.
Count on a distributed business model
A single source of computing power for a single department is no longer feasible. For example, leveraging new innovations to improve customer service is highly dependent on the seamless system integration of product, order, and customer throughout the entire customer journey. The Internet, mobility, cloud services, and active-active clustering are exponentially increasing the power of computing potential, distributing it across business lines, suppliers, partners and customers. There is the need to share data with anyone, anywhere, and organizations need to meet the challenge of managing the increased complexity.
Beware of legacy systems masquerading as agile
Too many businesses are banking on one-stop-shop solutions that attempt to dress-up old technology as enabling increased flexibility, when in reality, it furthers locks in vendors and reduces agility. Determining these digital delusions and hidden barriers is essential to unlocking the true potential of a post-modern digital economy. Using best-of-breed middleware with built-in system integration that connects it all, can provide better performance, flexibility, and a strong return on investment.
If it ain’t broke, still fix it
The landscape has changed, and where experience and proven technologies used to be enough to grow your business, younger companies with a fresh start and innovative thinking are getting in front of the curve. Increasing revenues by servicing existing customers more efficiently won’t work anymore. Companies need to assume that what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow. If companies don’t innovate fast enough, someone else will make their once award-winning technology obsolete.
Keep it simple
As companies compete for a new and disruptive concept, the simplest ideas can resonate the most, and lead to success. Uber, matching cars with riders,disrupted the tax industry. When Netflix provided the streaming of on-demand shows and movies, huge networks did the same. The best ideas are incredibly simple and can be expressed in just a few words. Which idea will digitally disrupt your industry? It could be as simple as using IoT to give your customers visibility into the status of their order all the way from the initial request, to assembly, testing, and final delivery.
The cards are being reshuffled and big rewards are awaiting the winners. To stay ahead, you must continuously evaluate your business model, customer-facing processes and watch your competitors carefully. Instead of ignoring disruption, fight for first-mover advantage and be the one who leads the curve. Be the champion of digital disruption and not its victim.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.