Design For Digital #1 - Digitally Intense
For any organization to become a ‘digital master’, it needs to create sound digital leadership, understanding how technologies drive the creation of a superior customer experience, the optimization of operations and even the reinvention of entire business models. It also needs a Digital IT team willing, able and ready to catalyze Digital Transformation with the right mix and architecture of new technologies — mobility, insights, social tools, solution catalogs, and the Cloud.
The classic enterprise depends on information technology for many of its business functions. But the Digital Enterprise is fundamentally different. It serves digital customers and partners at their own pace by a whole new set of rules. It plays the digital world’s game.
More than four years of solid research with MIT has shown us what it takes to become digital masters and our foundational book – Leading Digital - demonstrates that it requires the right blend of digital leadership and transformation leadership.
In this first design principle, we focus on the essence of digital leadership, or in other words: what it takes to become digitally intense.
Understanding the ways this next wave of technologies transforms the business is a core capability. We distinguish at least three:
1. Technology informs — then amplfies — customer expectations. Through better customer understanding, leveraging digital opportunities for top- line growth and the creative use of multiple customer touchpoints, a superior customer experience is created.
2. Technology removes the traditional constraints in organizational operations. The increasing digitization of processes is key, as is the use of technology to enable employees do their work in different ways and drive effective performance management.
3. Finally, technology creates a new breed of disruption. Reinvented business models derive from platform technologies, digital enhancements to products and services, and new, technology-enabled routes to a global market.
When crafting a new digital strategy, or reassessing an existing one, enterprises should select their primary areas of impact.
They should also remember that IT organizations are not born digital! They have themselves to become digital, in order to play the right role in the Digital Transformation.
This transformation is driven by many different technologies and each organization needs to shape its own radar screen. A few developments in technology stand out and should be considered in concert to maximize impact:
• Mobility should be the ‘alpha’ and the ‘omega’ of every solution. Creating mobile applications worthy of the Digital Enterprise is not a matter of squeezing information into smaller (even if they’re getting larger) screens. It requires considering the mobile device, including wearables, as the primary way of relating — the umbilical cord between enterprise, individuals and their communities.
• Insight — not just data — must be embedded into every move of the Digital Enterprise. Insight through information: every source of data has to be tapped, from the contextual through the social to the operational; insight through interpretation: data is given sense through analytics and visualization; insight for action: driving the next step of every process.
• Social tools as the way to connect the organization to consumers, employees, partners and ‘things’ and tap into the collaborative powers of the crowd, whatever that crowd consists of. Social shouldn’t be an afterthought, but should be a crucial, integral part of the design rationale of any solution.
• Catalogs are the foundation of quick, agile and enterprise-scale solution development. They provide industry best-practice solutions, processes and services to quick-start any chance initiative, providing the art of the possible. It’s a matter of using as much of what’s available, and only minimally adding what’s different.
• The Cloud is the default power to draw on. It provides processes, platforms, solutions, and the underlying Infrastructure-as-a-Service: invisible in its deployment, simple in its management and infinitely scalable and extensible in its use. Although the Cloud may not entirely be the de facto enterprise standard yet, it sure has defined the new benchmark.
Effectively combined, these drivers will increase the digital leadership of the enterprise through every new project. And it will even increase on a broader and faster front, if existing developments, ongoing programs, and existing solutions are revamped or repositioned to take even more advantage of true digital intensity.