Set your Digital Business north star

In our Digital Business (DB) series journey so far, we

In this post, we map out the journey needed to navigate becoming a Digital Business, and what it means in our role as customers and partners of Digital Businesses as well as a Digital Business provider.

Digital businesses:

  • Drive small, focused teams through clear missions they will own to achieve impactful outcomes.
  • Marry data, software and technical processes to increase the value of their assets.
  • Engage in purposeful cross-functional collaboration using agile methodologies.
  • Drive edgy business models that simplify the way customers access and consume their products.
  • Invest in phenomenal customer experiences that wow.
  • Improve internal capabilities to build competitive advantage with technology.
  • Deploy Digital Leadership to enable teams, orchestrate outcomes, promote team autonomy eliminate blockers, facilitate knowledge sharing and align outcome velocity.

For you, this means,

  • You need to place technology at the core of your business model.
  • You do not build technology around your existing business but work to identify new business models that have technology as a core enabler.
  • You need to manage how your customers can engage you better and gain better outcomes as enabled by emerging technologies.

Be honest about where you are in your journey

While we swiftly agree that digital endowment is the ultimate source of companies' capacity, competitiveness, innovation, quality, knowledge, intelligence, and agility, most businesses are still at the ground level. They are trying to figure out how what it will take to create digital advantage and, where needed, start their transformation journey.

2020/2021 saw business accelerate investment in building web storefronts, improving customer service interfaces, simplifying ways of engaging stakeholders, and exposing new product introductions using digital.

According to McKinsey research in these two years, digital advancement saw:

Stats: Digital advancement

As customers, we identify software companies by their ability to give people an efficient way to utilise technology to extract value or extend processes that gives them back peace of mind and time to focus elsewhere.

As providers, being a software company requires creating new business processes or swiftly improving existing ones by fundamentally changing the way we operate, reach and deliver value to customers using digital mechanisms, fast.

Stats: Organisational Outlook

Let's be clear about the hard truth of the situation:

  • Launching and running a digital business is hard but doable.
  • Delivering value digitally is hard, but doable.
  • Transforming into a digital company is hard, but doable.
  • Achieving market-fit is hard but doable
  • Helping your business embrace technology is hard, but doable
  • Maintaining digital relevance is extremely hard, but doable
  • Modernising value through strategic acquisitions is extremely hard, but doable
  • Digital leadership requires a broader technology landscape and business operations understanding

Where things often get messy

Your investment cases, revenues and situations will swiftly start making you compromise and prioritise. While undesirable, it is the only way to proceed. At this stage, start working with your Digital Leadership and team to

  • Frame the dream for the art of the possible
  • Identify the roadmap of works to make incremental wins that will eventually take you to the desired eventual reality.

Always Remember: It is ok not to be ok

You are great at your domain of expertise.

When moments of hiccups happen, remember that these are just a bump in the road (albeit a big one).

So do not worry about reaching out and asking for help. You may be amazed at what your next growth stage can enable!

Wrapping Up

Summarising our progress, in our Digital Business (DB) series journey so far, we

Explore the rest of the "Digital Business" series:

# Topic Link
DB-01 Unpack what it takes to be a Digital Business Open
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 (This Post)
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


  • 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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