Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. The potential for dislocation from ongoing digital transformation has created unprecedented levels of C-suite discussion. The decisive market leaders have heeded the warnings and taken bold actions.
That said, if you’re one of those chief technology officers (CTO) that previously responded to this scenario by making small incremental adjustments to your IT agenda, then you’re potentially at risk. Any relief from those prior tweaks tend to be short lived. The same issues will likely resurface.
An introduction to digital reinvention
Back in 2013, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) introduced the concept of ‘Digital Reinvention’. Why is that concept noteworthy? Markets had evolved from organizational centricity, in which manufacturers and service providers defined a predictable state, into a radically different environment described as the everyone-to-everyone (E2E) economy.
The E2E economy has four distinct characteristics, which are now more important since the original IBM study was published. E2E is orchestrated, and based on open ecosystems which are collaborative and inclusive. Orchestration reflects coordination, arrangement and management of complex commercial environments.
E2E is symbiotic, where everyone and everything are mutually interdependent. Meaning, collaborative partners engage in co-design, co-creation, co-production, co-marketing, co-distribution and sometimes co-funding. Moreover, the E2E economy is cognitive, characterized by data-enabled learning and predictive capabilities.
Customer experience-based innovation
Emerging technologies are expanding customer influence. A new generation of tech savvy customers demand more sophisticated and tailored experiences. According to a recent global survey of executives focusing on emerging business ecosystems, 54 percent believe customer buying behavior is shifting from a products- and/or services-based to an experience-based approach.
Seventy-one percent of global CEOs are now intent on treating customers as individuals rather than market segments – that’s a 29 percent growth in only two years. And, 81 percent of global CEOs say they want to apply technology to develop stronger customer relationships.
What’s changed? Digital reinvention rethinks customer and partner relationships from a need-, use- or aspiration-first perspective. Digital reinvention helps organizations create unique, compelling experiences for their customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders.
These benefits arise even if fulfillment of the experience involves direct provision of products and services, or orchestration of products or services from partner organizations by way of a business ecosystem. The most successful digitally reinvented businesses establish a platform of engagement for their customers – acting as enabler, conduit and partner.
Pathway to digital reinvention
According to the IBM IBV assessment, to succeed in this disruptive environment, organizations must offer compelling new experiences, establish new focus, build new expertise, devise new ways of working and embrace the digital drivers.
Pursue a new focus: Leading businesses will develop new ways of realizing and monetizing value and spawn new business models, new forms of financing and better, more holistic ways of conducting risk assessments. Leaders will also engage the market in deeper, more compelling ways. They will create strategies and execution plans to deliver deep, contextual, compelling experiences, and find new ways to monetize customer Interactions.
Build new expertise: Leading businesses will digitize products, services and processes that help them redefine the customer experience. They will augment these steps by applying predictive analytics, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things and automation to create a fully integrated, flexible and agile operational environment necessary to support and enable deep experiences.
Establish new ways of working: Leading businesses identify, retain and build the right talent needed to create and sustain a digital organization. The most successful among these take measures to create and perpetuate an innovation-infused culture incorporating design thinking, agile working and fearless experimentation.
Leaders contextualize organizational priorities within business ecosystems, seeking new forms of partnering and new ways to build value within overall systems of engagement. They think deeply and strategically about how customer priorities might evolve, seeking opportunities to create engagement platforms to the benefit of their customers, their partners and themselves.
Embrace digital drivers: Leading businesses combine open innovations to create organizations that can build the deep, compelling experiences customers desire. Rather than incrementalism, digital reinvention provides a path for visionary organizations to adopt an experience-first approach to planning, employing the strengths of ecosystem partners to create experiences that are truly unique.
Study conclusion: Reinventing the future
Digital technologies have redefined how people live, work and play. Pervasive technology is already changing traditional industry structures and economics and is reinterpreting what it means to be a customer and a citizen within the Global Networked Economy.
To thrive in a rapidly changing business environment, the most successful organizations will offer compelling new experiences, establish new focus, build new expertise and devise new ways of working – all based upon a foundation of the latest digital drivers.
The fearless market leaders advance this process by embracing digital reinvention. They envision possibilities, create pilots, deepen capabilities and orchestrate new ecosystems.