Six Key Steps to Build a Successful Digital Business

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Step 4: Formulate a digital strategy to respond to opportunities and threats.

Once the necessity of a digital strategy has been established, the following five elements must be addressed:

New Digitally Enabled Business Models — New digitally enabled business models afford new sources of revenue and disruptive competitive advantage for some period of time. Creating new business models will become an almost automatic default position of a digital business strategy.

The Product and Service Portfolio — In an increasingly digital world, products and services can be virtual, with no physical presence.

Information as an Asset — Information, and its effective use, has become a strategic asset and a competitive advantage to the digital businesses best able to exploit it. Although information strategy is a key element of digital business strategy, organizations must balance their desire for competitive advantage against the limitations of regulatory and other legal requirements and the privacy and manifold ethical concerns of their customers.

Technology — In the digital enterprise, mobile devices and bring your own device (BYOD) are becoming more commonplace, cloud computing and cloud-based services of all kinds are proliferating, and data of all types is exploding. As a result, evolving and implementing an effective technology strategy are more complex than ever before.

Content, Media and Channels — A successful digital business strategy critically depends on understanding customers' preferences for channels, the segmentation, and the possibilities associated with each instance.

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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