Five principles of the Digital enterprise

We looked at how the new global Digital platform has and will continue to disrupt markets and competition in our last Perspective. This is driven by unique Digital characteristics, such as limitless availability and zero distribution costs. Organisations now need to adapt to harness the potential of Digital or they risk losing market share to new Digital power houses.

The key driver for most organisations around Digital transformation primarily stems from the fact that it offers tremendous opportunity to enable business differentiation and impact in the market. It will give organisations the competitive edge they are looking for and change the game in their respective sectors.

However, realising the potential of Digital will be no easy task. Transforming the operating model to take full advantage of the opportunities whilst fending off leaner and more agile new entrants will require bold leadership and a programme of deep, organisation-wide change. Most companies tend to start small with pilots and proof of concepts, however it needs to be aligned to an overall vision and roadmap.

How to embed the principles of digital into day-to-day organisations?

Outlined below are five principles designed to help guide organisations on how to realise the potential of Digital and embed Digital ways of working and thinking throughout their organisation.

1. Simple, powerful value proposition

The way to stand-out in a crowded market where the customer has an excess of choice is to have a simple, clear message to the market. Allow this clarity to drive the development of an organisation relentlessly focused on developing the world class capabilities needed to be the exemplary offering in your category. If you think you are too big to do this, consider that Apple has just five product lines.

2. Every interaction matters

In a crowded and global market, customer experience becomes a key differentiator. Whilst many focus on the sales and service processes, those that thrive in the Digital era will have paid attention to the less obvious opportunities for interaction. Client on-boarding, product delivery and claims experience are equally important to get right and each channel requires a variation in brand expression.

3. Let a thousand apps bloom

Research and Development has changed for ever. No longer driven by monolithic back office product development processes, the new economics of Digital allows established market players to behave like start-ups, if they can resolve the process and cultural challenges. Running an effective intrapreneurship programme will help you both harness the best ideas and increase workforce engagement.

4. Lean, mean, operations machine

New entrants are coming to market with lean operations that leverage the power of cloud services. Lowering your costs of transaction to the point where you can effectively compete and move at pace will require a relentless focus on eliminating every source of inefficiency. Moving to SaaS and cloud based services, eliminating unnecessary layers of management and exploiting collaboration platforms will all help shorten decision times, reduce costs and increase flexibility.

5. Everyone is digital

Technology is no longer the responsibility of the IT department. The systematic breaking down and reforming of the operating model to embrace Digital is a CEO and board level challenge. For too long technology has been viewed as a source of cost and considered part of the back-office. Technology is now at the heart of customer interactions, core to new products, and the key to efficient operations. Every member of the workforce and your strategic partners needs to actively participate in the transformation of the operating model to embrace the challenge presented by Digital.

Moving into the new world

In the old world, enterprise investment agendas would ebb and flow between cost cutting and innovation, in line with macro-economic cycles. Adapting your organisation to the new global Digital platform will require simultaneous focus on Digital innovation, transforming customer interactions and creating a leaner operation.

In our next Perspective, we look at how to establish and deliver successful Digital Transformation Programmes, enabling your organisations to move into the new world.

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