Six Key Steps to Build a Successful Digital Business

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Step 1: Create the right mindset and shared understanding.

Digital business is not just about expanding the use of technology. Digital business leaders must think about technology in a fundamentally different way than in the past. It is not an enabler to be applied to what the business wants to do but a source of innovation and opportunity for what the business could do. This more proactive model focuses on creative disruption and new business models to gain competitive advantage. 

As digital business continues to mature, the pipeline of opportunities that will evolve will take on the characteristics of what Gartner calls a "business moment," defined as "transient opportunities exploited dynamically." In the context of digital business, a business moment is a brief everyday moment in time and the catalyst that sets in motion a series of events and actions involving a network of people, businesses and things that span or cross multiple industries and multiple ecosystems.

Business moments are important, because they will force enterprises to rethink the role they play in a value stream. Business moments illustrate a wide variety of possibilities and players and help companies envision and design new businesses that integrate people, businesses and things to do things that were not possible five years ago. The hallmark of a digital business will be the ability to spot these opportunities, however fleeting. 

Digital business is changing the way organizations use and think about technology, moving technology from a supporting player to a leading player in innovation, revenue and market growth, according to Gartner, Inc. However, digital business should not be considered an IT program and should instead become an enterprise mindset and lingua franca, with digital expertise spread across the enterprise and value ecosystem. 

Gartner predicts that a lack of digital business competence will cause 25 percent of businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017. 

"CIOs or IT professionals hear 'digital business' and think 'IT' will be blindsided," said Ken McGee, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Digital business is not synonymous with IT. It is about revenue, value, markets and customers. It is outward-focused. It is a metaphorical combination of front office, top line and downstage compared with back office, bottom line and backstage. True, information and technology help to build the capabilities for digital businesses, but they are only part of a complex picture." 

"Businesses have used information and digital technology for some time as sources of efficiency and productivity," continued Mr. McGee. "However, in a digital business, digital technology, for the first time, moves into the forefront, into the heart of what the business is doing and how it generates revenue, seizes competitive advantage and produces value. Digital business represents a more extreme revolution than previous technology-driven changes, and CIOs, with their insight into technology and information, are positioned to develop and promote a successful digital business." 

Gartner has identified six crucial steps that will enable CIOs and other business leaders to build a successful digital enterprise and change the game. 

 

Related Topics : A Big Market for Big Data Jobs, Midmarket CIO, IT Management Automation, SharePoint, Technology Markets

 
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