Unleash Your Digital Business

by Mark Sharron

At an recent event entitled ‘Unleash Your Digital Business’ at Forrester Forum for Technology Management Leaders, it has provided perceptive conversations regarding turning processes, technologies and systems into high-impact, quick win digital capabilities. It’s quite fair to say that digital business progress has been made by almost every enterprise as of now. However a lot of organizations, regardless of their industry or size, have a lot more to accomplish and they are at risk. Conversations at Forrest Forum were focus on why and how to apply new behaviors and digital transformation strategies, so that the attendees can be assisted in unleashing their digital business.

The Orlando #ForrForum was opened by Forrester Research, Inc.’s George Colony, saying that the CTO and CEO are not going to provide you with all the help you need in order to help you digital business’ transformation or if you are in the grips of spiraling decline, they won’t save the day with technology. Instead, technology will come from cross-functional team and Business Technology agenda focused on implementing and creating for instance, new systems of engagement.

Alright, what’s the why for digital business enablement and digital transformation, if a Business Technology agenda is the how? Putting it in a simple way, as of now we are in the “Age of the Customer” and customers have the necessary power to influence all business operations from customer service to human resources and every other function between those two.

The concept of digital transformation is to improve operational agility and be in the best possible position to endlessly retains, serve and win customers.

The digital business and its ability to accomplish important goals is likely to be undermined by the opposite of this pursuit.

According to a report written by Nigel Fenwick in May 2014, Forrester thinks that every single business is obliged to transform to digital business and in order to improve operational agility and create new sources of customer values it has to endlessly exploit digital technologies. In order to guide engagement and perform operations in complex markets, proactive companies with digital business strategy are using software increasingly. It should not come as a surprise that 74% of business executives of today claim that their companies already have a digital strategy in motion, but just 15% of those truly believe that their companies have the capabilities and skills to perform this kind of strategy.

Forrester delves into results, in the ‘The State of Digital Business 2014’ report, from the ‘Forrester/Russell Reynolds 2014 Digital Business Online Survey’ in order to reveal the digital business’ reality in 2014. The main focuses of this research are on organizational structures, responsibilities and business strategy in order to help enterprises go towards digital mastery.

At Forrester Forum, a foundational theme was to apply and innovate an outside-in approach for knowing more about latent needs that enterprise stakeholders and customers care about and with the help of technology, address these needs. IDEO is an award-winning worldwide design firm and its CEO Tom Kelley was recently featured on 60 minutes, talking about how a technology-driven audience can manifest their true creative and innovative potential in the field of digital business.

In 2013, the book ‘Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All’ was co-authored by Tom Kelly and his brother David and the main theme of that book was the main idea of our conversation above and the presentation of Tom.

Here are 3 takeaways that you are advised to consider:

  1. Even if your ideas receive criticism from others, creative confidence is our natural ability to think of amazing ideas in combination with our desire to act.
  2. The leaders of digital business are advised to combine humanity with technology and commence with empathy in order to learn latent needs and address them with the help of technology.
  3. In order to create new innovations, that are important to your digital business and customers, you have to embrace “falling down” by learning via experimentation.

A lot of organizations say that they are “digital” however according to PwC just a small amount of them truly are. ‘Digital’ is defined by PwC in terms of a company’s sharpness at weaving, valuing and understanding technology via the enterprise otherwise known as Digital IQ.

6th Annual Digital IQ Survey 2014 of PwC includes comments made by more than 1500 IT executives and businesses across a wide range of locations and industries around the globe. Chris Curran is the chief technologist and principal at PwC who have an insightful speech highlighting the main points of the study and on camera we spoke a about this including one “wow moment.”

Here are 5 takeaways from Digital IQ 2014:

  1. The digital vision of the company is steered and set by the digital CEO as well as addressing the inevitable obstacles that emerge with the new approaches of doing business. 79% of the respondents this year have a CEO who is a true leader and innovator in terms of using technology to accomplish digital strategy.
  2. It’s important to have digital capability that is enlaced amidst the business. In all areas of the business, relevant resources and IT skills are required. 58% of the businesses claim that they have IT departments with excellent or good understanding within their companies of the sales function.
  3. The new IT Platform includes a multi-disciplinary model that with the right people it forms dedicated teams, regardless of their position within the organization. In order to effect this change, you need to adopt agile processes. For over a half of all projects, 29% of businesses use agile processes.
  4. For innovation, a lot of businesses don’t have a wide network. Outside-in approach embraces new experimentation and ideas that derive from the most unlikeliest of sources. In order to gather ideas, 17% turn to labs or universities, for applying new and innovative technologies and to resolve business issues.
  5. The CMO-CIO relationship is becoming growingly important, because a lot of initiatives related to digital technology are driven by marketing needs. A strong working relationship is reported by 51% between the CMO and CIO of their companies.

The main point of this blog is to ask readers to give thoughts on their level of commitment regarding their digital business, if they are someone supporting or responsible for core operations, such as Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Compliance/Legal, Supply Chain, Finance and HR. In addition, the goal of this blog is not to incline that someone might undermine the results and digital strategy of the organization on purpose. Nevertheless, different perspectives from PwC, IDEO, and Forrester, all include in this blog, point to one important takeaway: Enterprise-wide systems of engagement and innovation are required to help retain, serve and win empowered customers and to fortify and create digital business operations.

Change often elicits fear, it is not easy and needs good collaboration with leadership across functions that in unfamiliar territory encourages innovation. It is just not good enough to decide to operate a business with the usual approach or the inability to innovate in today’s risky and competitive digital business environment.

If you’re are creating a digital business, making sure you have a reliable HR system is so important. Cezanne HR is one of the best around.

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