Digital Business Pillars


Understanding your digital business begins with understanding customer needs and trajectories as they embark on their own digital journeys. For example, in the automotive industry, rapidly advancing Internet of Things strategies are creating intelligent vehicles capable of automated maneuvering, preventive maintenance alerts and sophisticated onboard entertainment, navigation and communication. But look closer and you’ll see automotive manufacturers repositioning themselves as transportation solution providers and developing broader strategies that include ridesharing, driving as a service and alternative vehicle design. If your enterprise serves automotive customers, targeting your digital strategy to where the industry was last year — or even today — is likely a miss. The key is determining where the new value creation opportunities are heading in the markets you serve today — or would like to serve in the future.



This is where the concept of transformation is so critical.  Digital technologies are simply “things.” They are not strategies or business models unto themselves. A key to digital success is leveraging these technologies to transform existing processes. This requires an intimate understanding of your customers’ buying journeys. By leveraging digital technologies, you can transform your current operations into new processes that allow you to inject real-time customer insights into your innovation processes. You can speed the development of offerings and bring them to market faster and more economically than ever. And you can integrate your processes with customer (and partner) ecosystems to deepen valuable relationships. Key elements of this transformation process include:


Hyper-Intelligent Decisioning. Extract the key pieces of information from the fire hose of Big Data and leverage them to create powerful customer insights. Use data to create exceptional and unique customer experiences that drive revenue and loyalty.

Brand Engagement Insights. Leverage data to determine how and when your customers interact with your brand. Then, leverage that understanding to create new touch-points, new tools and new experiences that elevate your brand in the customer’s eyes.

Self-Service Opportunities. Unsatisfactory interactions with customers are typically the result of friction — which is caused by delays, errors or simply slow systems. Your digital business strategy needs to identity opportunities for self-service tools that remove friction and improve customer satisfaction. This does not remove the human element from customer relationships; it simply allows humans to focus on important tasks that cannot or should not be automated.

Customer-Driven Innovation. Products and services typically take a long time to bring to market because the insight-innovation-design-manufacture-delivery process is full of friction and manual steps. Leverage digital technologies to collect customer insights and inject them directly into your innovation processes in real-time.



This is where IT becomes strategists and technology brokers instead of a backroom support team. IT’s new role is to identify and deploy technologies that make the enterprise highly agile.  A key is identifying and leveraging technologies that allow the enterprise to turn the increasing flood of raw data into actionable intelligence. Success here also requires creative new ways to view the “enterprise.” In addition to enabling an already increasingly mobile workforce, this means integrating customers, sales partners, technology partners and other key audiences as part of dynamic and secure ecosystems that remove friction from core business processes. One thing to consider is the decoupling of legacy and new cloud-based systems. Legacy systems will likely be required to ensure continuity in key processes for quite some time, but integrating them with digital ecosystems typically diminishes the value of the newer, more agile technologies.




There are two key considerations in a digital ecosystem — enablement and security. Mobile employees, customers and partners require access to information, apps, networks and other assets to do their jobs and capitalize on the agility of digital business. Access to all of these essential assets via smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs must be fast and seamless. At the same time. The enterprise must be mindful of new vulnerabilities created by digital ecosystems. The old “perimeter” which was comprised of employees and computers working within confines of a firewall is no longer relevant. The anywhere-anytime nature of digital business presents a new security paradigm. The temptation for most organizations will be to focus on monitoring — watching for and reacting to breaches and other security events. Best practices, however, require organizations to proactively manage identities — of people, devices, apps and other things — that reside along the ecosystem.