We know by now that digitalization is driving disruption across industries, prompting businesses to transform in order to remain relevant.
This has quite a dramatic impact on companies, many of which are still striving to determine the best way forward.
A good beginning would be to consider these four critical enablers to step up to digital transformation: the Internet of Things (IoT), industry-specific Use Cases, a Digital Business Platform with API Management and Bimodal IT.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) – enables a digital business
Digital business has become a force that is reshaping industries and creating new competitive advantages by blurring the digital and physical worlds. Digital business connects not only people and businesses to each other, but also to sensored Things that can help to drive revenue and efficiency. Digital business can help to eliminate barriers that now exist among industry segments, while creating new value chains and business opportunities that traditional businesses cannot offer.
- Industry-specific use cases – differentiate a digital business
To cities, digital business means smart connected parking, facilities and services. To manufacturers, digital business can mean connected factories and the industrial internet. To other industries, ecosystems or platform businesses such as Airbnb and Uber come to mind. The on-demand economy is getting bigger. Uber and Airbnb still dominate the US sharing scene, but the number of companies launching is growing tremendously. Horizontal marketplaces such as eBay offer a wide range of goods and services to large audiences.
In contrast, industry specific marketplaces target highly specific problems and customer segments. In the past, they lacked the volume of buyers and sellers to compete with horizontal sites. But companies like eBay familiarized millions of consumers with the concept of buying goods from strangers on the Internet. They paved the way for other vertical disruptors. Vertical marketplaces work well in niche fields and therefore offer faster, more efficient matching algorithms, so industry-centric use cases can make a real difference.
- Digital Business Platform with API Management - to create an ecosystem
Regardless of the type of digital business, most enterprises do not have the technology components to support the new business models. So the next step is to explore the right technology. A digital business platform is the interface between changing markets and agile business operations, the common face of business strategy and IT strategy. It is the layer of differentiation and of innovation. The digital business platform allows the creation of flexible and adaptive applications and it serves as a foundation for ongoing change - build to change, not to last.
Be aware that this is different than your typical ERP vendor. The ERP vendor provides back-office and core systems; however, organizations are looking at shrinking that core footprint and augmenting it with own developments to accelerate their ability to change. Partner systems can fill in missing gaps. Despite the prevalence of a single vendor and its partners, it is critical that the platform has APIs exposed for all major functionality. This is a key enabler in supporting the dynamic and external-facing nature of digital business.
- Bimodal IT - to reduce cost and change faster
There remains the challenge of the divide between the conventional “Proven Mode” and the innovative “Agile Mode.” The customer-facing technology is modular and flexible enough to move high speed—for instance, to develop and deploy new services in days or to give customers personalized web pages in seconds. The core IT infrastructure, on the other hand, is designed for the stability and resiliency required to manage transaction and support systems. The priority here is high-quality data management and built-in security to keep core business services reliable. So bear in mind that the digital business platform needs to contain capabilities that support both modes smoothly.
Employing these four enablers will help your organization to quickly step up to digital transformation. What are you waiting for?