The concept of digital business is on the mind of many business leaders today. It’s beyond a CEO topic and is now a Board of Directors topic. Chaos and confusion is rampant, however, regarding digital business. As long as this continues, business leaders will be out of step with their CEOs and Boards.
Let’s start with what digital business is not – it is not simply a business enabled by technology. We must eliminate this rigid thought process of business within one box and technology as a separate, underlying box. It is not just mobile-enablement. It is not just data analytics. It is not just connected devices. It is not just customer-centric marketing. Those are all worthy initiatives, but by themselves do not create a digital business.
This highly structured mindset perpetuates the role of technology as an enforcer of rigid business processes. It begins with the assumption that we can predict the future with high certainty – the whims of our customers, who our partners will be, who our competition is, and ultimately what it takes to win in the marketplace. The pace of change is accelerating and so is the rate of disruption. Businesses are now being forced to make bold moves thoughtfully. Either we are the disruptor – or we become disrupted.
To become the disruptor, we must re-think the fabric of the business itself with a digital mindset. The age-old questions are unchanged… Who are the target customers? How do we add significant value to them? How do we become sticky? How do we experiment without alienating the core customer set? What data do we need to continually re-evaluate?
In the digital mindset, however, we re-think the business model where virtual and physical worlds work seamlessly together. The awkward collisions in the past of virtual and physical will evolve tomorrow into a more pleasant experience for the customer. We market to their individual identity. We anticipate their needs. We make recommendations. We excel in the service and support. We do all of this with unparalleled access to data-driven insights.
All of this requires collaboration – within the enterprise, with new and existing partners, and with an ultimate eye to the customer. It requires interconnectivity of people, data, things, and business processes. Seams and barriers must be torched relentlessly. This is why boards are putting business leaders into CIO positions, and CIOs into general management positions. This is why CMOs are gaining prominent roles. This is why some enterprises are formalizing the role of Chief Digital Officer.
Are you leading the disruption – or waiting to be disrupted?
Read Ciber’s eBook and learn 5 Ways to Think (and Act) Like a Chief Digital Officer