Why Firms Must View Digital as a Never-Ending Effort

When Apple launched the first Macintosh in 1984, did anyone at the company think that it was the only personal computer people would ever need? Of course not. Indeed, digital has never been a one-and-done effort. With the changes of customer behaviors, technological development, and the environment, products keep evolving to fit business needs and generate profits. With this understanding, executives need to understand that digital is not a series of one-off efforts, and it must be explored and incorporated into every aspect of the business. Suketu Gandhi, in an article for CIO Insight, says that executives have to react to digital by changing many aspects of how they do business, beginning with the following:

  • Adopt a balance between a venture capital and a private equity approach to funding both moonshots and optimization.
  • Map the digital efforts to show where they lie and allocate the appropriate financial and human resources.
  • Change the skill sets of their employees and how these workers are organized.

Change the Model

Changing your current operating is necessary to incorporate different processes into one aligned system. The factually informed model should be able to provide a realistic and ever-changing view of markets, products, and customers gathered in near real-time from social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), or product devices. With it, you can react to changes in market and customer demands by adjusting key business elements.

In the domain of customer engagement, companies should no longer aim for the “average”—what most customers seem to need—but slice their market into narrower segments and models. Try to focus on each individual and enable the customer to buy specifically what he or she wants and needs. Gandhi goes on to say that executives no longer have a choice, that they must accept the fact that digital is an iterative and ongoing effort, and they must address these questions:

  • What are the underlying models driving the growth and operations of the business? For example, what are the assumptions in customer acquisitions, supply chain or and manufacturing?
  • Are the company’s financial allocations and governance built for this digital challenge?
  • How do we evolve our organizational model to respond to this digital opportunity?

The answers to these questions will guide the executives’ reactions and determine whether their business will survive in the coming second decade of digital disruption.

You can view the original article here:

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