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Unpack what it takes to be a Digital Business

The phrases “Every company is now a software company” and “every company is now a data company” create fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of leadership teams, today.

With a whopping 92% of businesses working on their ability to change fast, be flexible and mature their internal ways of work, leaders are also trying to figure out why this digital transformation journey never seems to have an end in sight or state of “done”.

New needs and digital expectations keep on popping up across their stakeholders, partners, customers and workforce:

  • The products people want to buy are changing.
  • Previously reliable revenue streams are drying up.
  • Customer demands are drastically different than they were just a few years ago.
  • Regulatory demands keep on evolving and are distracting.

We see technology take over every aspect of our life. We see ourselves and our loved ones want to transact digitally for a product, service, knowledge, meeting, experience or interaction from any device or location of choice, securely 24/7/365.

We are negatively judgemental of organisations that are less technologically endowed, swiftly seeking alternatives with no remorse. As you seek to become a digital business, you are facing new paradigms and challenges to:

  • Simplify the way you engage with customers.
  • Modernise applications and use advanced analytics to provide intelligence and personalised services.
  • Eliminate waste and re-invest savings into developing the business
  • Maintain the relevance of your product capabilities.
  • Advance the value of your business assets.
Digital Growth

The appeal of being a Digital Business

Digital business is the driving force enabling businesses to change their outlook on technology from a cost of doing business to a route of growing revenue and doing work better, cheaper, and faster while delivering customer value.  

These appeal factors are often grouped across:

  • Driving revenue via digital platforms and software monetisation
  • Using productivity tools to automate workflows and reduce human error
  • Leveraging data and AI to create insights
  • Enhancing customer experiences for retention
  • Increase agility and operational efficiency

Diving deeper, leaders express these appeal factors in terms of their need to:

  • Separate and create focused competencies around Digital Strategy and Digital Delivery.
  • Ship products at a fraction of the time with less drama.
  • Drive transparency, accountability, and clarity around prioritising and delivering work, experimentation, and innovation projects.
  • Reduce management overhead by over 50%.
  • Break down large projects into smaller pieces of work that deliver incremental value (rather than big-bang).
  • Better orchestrate separate workstreams and help connect outcomes to create the desired new work systems and enable the realisation of stakeholder value.
  • Allocate capacity in terms of dedicated, small teams of engineers focused on developing specific solutions in small, incremental missions designed to achieve a clear set of goals within pre-agreed parameters of success.
  • Proactively engage and review stakeholders to review progress and results as part of the solution development process (including business, designers, user experience and customer representatives).
  • Make rapid adjustments to the code on the fly while speedily launching system updates at record speed.
  • Create dramatic speed improvements to customer onboarding and service experiences using digital self-service capabilities (bringing down the time to resolution from days to minutes).
  • Re-engineer the release processes allowing businesses to automatically release frequently across different channels (such as Development Preview, BETA and Stable Channels).
  • Make data and intelligence available in near-real-time to allow fast, informed decisions and personalised customer services (support/sales).
  • Drive peer and team responsibility where KPIs and metrics are openly reviewed and discussed to identify new and better working methods.

Wrapping Up

With this post, we launch a 9-part “Digital Business” focused series of posts, where will explore the following:

# Topic Link
DB-01 Unpack what it takes to be a Digital Business (This Post)
DB-02 Is being a Digital Business for you? Open
DB-03 Putting digital landscapes into perspective Open
DB-04 Set your Digital Business north star Open
DB-05 Changing the business while running the business Open
DB-06 Understanding the Digital Business Mindset Open
DB-07 Top 5 Key traits Digital Leadership should have Open
DB-08 Unlocking Digital Business Agility Open
DB-O9 Top 8 capabilities you need to be a Digital Business Open

Remember:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies to become Digital Businesses.
  • It is only in uniting people, products & processes through a common vision, a deeply felt purpose, and a broadly shared dream that will continue to motivate stakeholders to push on and persevere.
  • Many paths can lead to your desired destination. Each route while equally viable have varying degrees of complexity, sophistication and completeness.

My purpose in the series is to share lessons learned in building global software businesses to help you achieve a Digital Business with assets people want to buy.

Let me know what you think about this series and whether you feel something important was left out. Reach out on andre@andremuscat.com.


Let us know what you think!. We believe in productive discourse and welcome opportunities to refine our understanding through discussion. Comment in the comments area below or reach out on hi@andremuscat.com

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