With digital disruption no longer a question of “if” but “when”, CEOs are increasingly focused on transforming their organisations to reap the benefits, and meet the challenges brought by the successive waves of technological innovations.
Over the last two decades, disruptions have taken various forms: from social media platforms empowering customers, to the internet of things equipping objects with the ability to create, send and receive data.
New ecosystems and business models have evolved, redesigning the competitive landscapes across industries.
At its core, the disruptive nature of digital technologies stems from their ability to significantly reduce information asymmetry between different actors within an ecosystem (such as a driver and a potential passenger, or a lender and a borrower) by making information instantaneously and easily accessible.
Digitally transforming an organisation and capturing these opportunities is often challenging as it requires C-suite executives and entrepreneurs to identify possibilities and drive change concurrently in three areas where digital technologies are can make significant differences and change the face of organisations.·
Seeing digital data as a source of insight and using this data in knowledge-creation processes to create competitive advantages.·
Leveraging digital channels to transform organisational processes and create agility.
Rethinking how digital dynamics can improve a company’s value proposition.
To successfully lead the digital transformation across these three building blocks, leaders need to measure their progress and the extent through which their organisation has embraced change, from an initiation phase (focusing on the discovery of new opportunities) to a ritualisation phase (looking at ways to interact with the digital ecosystem) and to a final internalisation phase (prioritising digital solutions; see table below).
Only then can they assess where they lag behind and where they are on par or ahead, and establish a roadmap for moving the digital transformation forward.
With search engines such as Google processing a staggering 3.5 billion requests a day and massive quantities of content available through social media, digital data represents the richest reservoir of insights that has ever existed. Building intelligence capabilities based on this data starts with social listening.
This initiation stage thus typically involves acquiring basic social media analytical skills giving instant access to online conversations and activities about brands and topics.
For instance, when the power went out during the Super Bowl 2013, it only took a few minutes for creative teams at Oreo to post a tweet featuring an Oreo cookie and the caption “You can still dunk in the Dark”. The quick response successfully grasped the attention of spectators, many of whom were already on social media to pass the time during the power outage.
Industry leaders are transforming their businesses by making the user experience on mobile devices the center of their marketing strategies, according to this opinion piece by Gopi Kallayil, Google’s chief evangelist for brand marketing and Bhaskar Ramesh, head of industry, consumer packaged goods, India.
The automobile industry has long thrived in a world where cars were parked 95% of the time.
But that’s all changing.
In October of 2016, Steve Mahan, who is legally blind, tooled around Austin, Tex. in one of Google’s fleet of self-driving cars — no brake pads, no steering wheel.
Just Steve. “It is like driving with a very good driver,” Mahan told The Washington Post.
“This is a hope of independence.”Not only could driverless cars help millions who cannot navigate roads on their own, but they also enable ride-sharing, where cars could shuttle people on multiple trips during the day.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, we can look at Uber (while there’s currently much controversy around the company, they’re still a dominant name in the category). Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, founders of the ride-sharing company, created their app to connect drivers with dependable rides.Their mission? To make transportation as reliable as running water, and they’ve done just that, in more than 540 cities worldwide.
In Helsinki, MaaS Global’s Whim released a travel app that incorporates all means of transport — including walking, e-bikes, and ride-sharing to trams — to get people to where they want to go. Tap the screen on your smartphone, and the app shows you the best options, or combination of options, and handles planning, routing and booking.
It isn’t often that the broad infrastructure that underlies industrial civilization undergoes a dramatic transformation.
But just such a change appears to be happening now.
As sensors spread through factories and warehouses, software predicts the need for maintenance before it is manifest, power grids and loading docks become intelligent, and custom-designed parts are produced on demand, the label the next industrial revolution is coming to represent this great wave of technological change.
The leaders of this revolution are companies making advances in fields such as robotics, machine learning, digital fabrication (including 3D printing), the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and blockchain (a system of decentralized, automated transaction verification).
Because these technologies all reinforce the others’ impact, they are leading to a new level of proficiency, and new types of opportunities and challenges for business and for society at large.
One key example is that conventional boundaries between industries are eroding. It’s getting harder to tell the difference between, say, a telecommunications company and an entertainment producer, or between a retail bank and a retail store.
The relationships among suppliers, producers, and consumers are also blurring, more rapidly than many business decision makers are prepared for.
Customer choice has never been greater, so terrific design is essential for outstanding products and services—and to build lasting customer relationships.
Because customers demand compelling experiences, successful companies create products with a “hook”—a certain look or unique features that meet customer desires and build brand loyalty.
At a time when demand is restrained in many sectors and geographies, such products can be a source of differentiated growth. The most successful designs achieve this growth in a commercially viable way by juggling the trade-offs of maximizing customer value within constrained costs.