1. Focus on growth opportunities
I believe that focusing on the opportunity for growth, and approaching digital as an enabler of new-world efficiency rather than as a threat to the existing business, is the challenge that most of our clients and boardrooms now have to overcome.
Organizations that are pragmatic, proactively invest in innovation and new business models, and embrace digital change, can reinvent themselves and expand beyond geographical and industry borders by delivering new, innovative and enhanced products, services and experiences.
However, CEOs and board members need to understand that simply having a digital strategy is not enough. In fact it is no longer even a choice. Organizations have to stop “doing digital” and start “being digital.”
Being a digital leader means embracing a portfolio of investment and development opportunities in new tools and platforms to improve the customer experience. It also means challenging the traditional approach to ROI for technology investments through more focused portfolio management and innovation to positively disrupt the existing business model.
Indeed, companies that have taken innovation outside the confines of the research and development (R&D) department and embedded it within every level of the organization are those that are making the greatest strides ahead of their competition. These companies recognize that innovation should not only drive product and process development, but also brand, customer experience, supply chain and new business models. Innovation is not housed strictly and solely within R&D; it becomes everyone’s responsibility, championed by the leadership team, including the CFO.
As a global organization, our call to action is for all enterprises to make digital disruption their friend. But this can only be achieved by taking the right strategic and practical steps to ride the digital waves breaking on their corporate shores.
2. Develop a network of collaborators
Part of the role of a digital leader is to fund new approaches to offset technical debt and build new capabilities through partnerships and collaboration. Those that are able to build the flexibility to venture into new capabilities more effectively than their competitors will be the winners in the new digital economy.
Just as with a circle of close friends, companies need to build a strong network of external partners that can take them to the next level by helping to deliver a true digital enterprise strategy. Companies with capital to invest can do this via acquisitions. But no single firm is an island in a sea of digital disruption.
For instance, while companies typically have some level of in-house digital expertise and assets, most will need to collaborate with others to make the most of the latest mobile technologies, AI capabilities, advanced analytics, cloud computing and other emerging technologies.