The era of digital business: moving beyond boundaries
Today’s pioneering enterprises are doing more than just talking a good digital game. They are
fundamentally changing the way they look at themselves and quickly mastering the shift from “me” to “we.” Proactive corporate leaders see their businesses, employees, and customers as a living, breathing digital fabric offering unprecedented opportunity to establish beachheads in new markets, drive profit and change life for the better.
Through the transformational power of this network, we’re witnessing the birth of a new era of “digital ecosystems.” Here are five key trends that are mapped for the digital business era: The Internet of Me, Outcome Economy, Platform (R) evolution, Intelligent Enterprise, and Workforce Reimagined.
How to sum it all up? It’s not just about you — or me, or anyone else in particular. It’s about all of us — The “We Economy”. If your company is like most, the last few years have seen your top teams focused on leveraging social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC) to transform your enterprise into a digital business.
Today, the challenge has become: What will business leaders do with their digital advantage?
THE INTERNET OF ME
As everyday objects and experiences become digitized, new frontiers of individualization are created. Much of the Internet’s appeal lies in the personal power it bestows: “My” newsfeed, “My” playlist, “My” book recommendations, and so on.
But as the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Even more authentic and meaningful individual experiences await.
Look all around: parking meters are going digital, the refrigerators and other comforts of home are getting brainier, and the next time you take yourself out to the ballgame, you may just receive a smartphone alert on which concession stand has the shortest line for hot dogs and beer.
Everyday gadgets and machines are increasingly interconnected and consumers are demanding more “smart” tech. Those who embrace the Internet of Me will sustain higher customer engagement and, in turn, open up new avenues of growth. “The companies that succeed in this new Internet of Me era will become the next generation of household names.”
The true digital disrupters know that getting ahead is no longer just about selling things. It’s about delivering results.
Image 2 If you live in a “smart” city and notice it’s now easier to find a parking space, you’ve already benefited from an outcome. Same goes if you had lunch today. New intelligence, in hardware and a lot of other things, is bridging the last mile between the digital enterprise and the physical world.
Early adopters, coming face-to-face with the Internet of Things, are uncovering opportunities to embed hardware and sensors in their digital toolboxes.
They’re reaping bottom-line benefits and making life better for employees and customers. Hardware — yes, hardware — is playing a leading role.
Today, the hardware is flexing its muscles, demonstrating rapid advancements that carry echoes of the software revolution more than a decade ago.
“The Outcome Economy upends long-held notions of how superior products and services are defined. The new leaders will be those that can consistently collaborate with others to deliver excellence across a spectrum of capabilities that include hardware.”
Enterprises are carving out new playing fields– thanks to rapid advances in cloud and mobility technology. Platform-based ecosystems are the new plane of competition.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN.
Over two centuries ago, the bricks-and-mortar factory was the primary platform that launched the Industrial Revolution. So it is with digital technology, which promises as much, if not more, disruption.
Today’s new and evolving platforms are essentially comprised of well-defined architecture, governance and services and underpinned by the latest digital “tools” – social, mobile, cloud, Internet of Things and others.
Deere, among others, have established blueprints to build and deliver applications for specific industry problems.
The platforms serve as a pool of reusable capabilities to achieve better business outcomes.
Software that learns and adapts is no longer a one-off project. It must be an all-encompassing effort that propels discovery and innovation throughout the enterprise.
Image 4 For years, software’s expanding capabilities were geared primarily toward helping employees make better and faster decisions. Amid the influx of data—along with advances in processing power, analytics, and cognitive technology—software intelligence is helping automobiles, thermostats and other everyday things recognize, “think” and respond accordingly.
Greater operational excellence awaits those who grasp the upside potential. Indeed, three out of five global businesses believe big data will boost their decisionmaking and competitiveness, according to our research.
This evolution is taking shape at workplaces – where virtual “agents” help call centers run more efficiently – and at home – where Netflix algorithms plumb viewers’ past choices for suggestions on what they might enjoy watching.
As the digital revolution gains momentum, humans and machines must do more together. Successful businesses will embrace both as critical team members.
READY FOR A SELFIMPROVEMENT EXERCISE?
As digital and physical worlds increasingly cross-pollinate, people are being transformed into “better versions” of themselves, at work and everywhere else. How? For starters, we’re using machines to take on more challenging physical tasks and perform more efficiently.
Advances in robotics enable machines to not only communicate with humans but also work side-by-side with them. It’s a division of labor that plays to strengths of both.
Smart devices and wearable technology can gather information on a person’s surroundings, supplement physical tasks and detect hazardous situations— potentially– saving lives. This reimagined workforce poses tricky questions.
The biggest may revolve around recognition and response as the entire operational chain shifts to a digitally-driven model.
“The push to go digital is amplifying the need for humans and machines to do more, together. Advances in natural interfaces, wearable devices, and smart machines will present new opportunities for companies to empower their workers through technology.”