Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Digital

Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Digital

How can digital innovation strengthen my position in the market? This is now front of mind for every company on the planet.  No matter what industry you are in: agriculture, manufacturing, consumer goods or service, digital innovation is impacting your business.  Innovation is either helping you improve and grow your business or not. Many of the “old school” businesses are experiencing  a loss in market share to new high tech entrants who have the ability to provide a better customer solution (sometimes referred to as “Uberization”).  Some businesses are being led by strategic visionaries and investing wisely in a variety of integrated technology platforms and solutions, while others are waiting on the sidelines rapidly losing business to more innovative providers.

The enterprise of the future needs to be able to engage and convert consumers into loyal customers. Those leading the pack are already building new revenue business models, employee engagement strategies, increased security and all built with agility, actionability and speed in mind.  Advanced and predictive data analytics (capabilities that include ad-hoc statistical analysis, predictive modeling, data mining, text and contextual analytics, optimization, real-time monitoring, machine learning and more) are at the core of many of these enterprises providing key actionable insights needed to identify opportunities for growth.

Actionable Data

Actionable insights are enabling companies to cut costs as well as improve customer experience. The costs are being cut out of repetitive processes using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Automation (CA). The advent of solutions reading and adapting solutions based upon a person’s (employee or consumer) disparate non-structured data from the internet will allow companies to adjust and predict in real time changes needed to capture or maintain their loyalty.

Consumer and enterprise digital experiences need to start with secure environments that are intuitive and easy to use, as well as having a direct correlation to measurable results. Back-end systems and processes (in the cloud or internal mainframes) will need to be integrated and data aligned.

New Revenue Models

Revenue streams are coming from new revenue models, increased customer engagement, process efficiency improvements, and improved segmentation and personalization. Most organizations are focusing on reducing costs with digitalization, as the processes are more familiar and the changes are incremental. The big plays will happen with visionaries who are taking advantage of the current solutions as well as making strategic bets by piloting different solutions, learning and then investing in cloud based integrated solutions.

Banks and financial institutions are among the leaders in leveraging digital solutions – Blockchain and Bitcoin just the tip of the iceberg with its cryptographic security. But think about the divide between those mobile apps that are intuitive with behavioral design and those that are not. The banks investing in this space are creating a wide divide with their competitors, and millennials and others are finding these solutions more customer friendly.  Think of companies like Goldman Sachs who have a very large portfolio of “old school” investors with capital.  As wealth is passed onto Gen X and Millennial’s, traditional institutions like Goldman Sachs may experience a huge loss of assets under management as younger clients look to switch to the more tech savvy, intuitive and responsive wealth management service providers. What should companies like this do? Invest rapidly in digital engagement strategies aimed at the new generations, to reduce the risk of flight of capital.

Digital Marketing

Social media, video (360 video), digital influencers sharing thought leadership and recommendations and other digital channels are going to become more important to a business’s entire enterprise.  The rise of the digital enterprise will not only need to be outward looking, but also inward looking at employees.

Cyber Employees

How do we motivate and retain employees critical to the future of the enterprise? The rise of virtual work environments has motivated companies to begin to focus on empowering and engaging employees remotely. It’s all about the work people do and the meaningfulness of that work, versus the place one works in. So, how do managers of the future monitor and motivate an employee’s productivity and satisfaction to reduce risk of attrition?  A focus on mobile first platforms to support virtual workers is now an imperative.

The need to make employees feel part of a team is essential to ensure retention within enterprises. Ensuring employees have a sense of proximity to coaches, mentors, internal support networks all becoming more critical to the future workspace.   Leadership teams plan for the  future today  to ensure they have talent in place to manage transformations needed to support today’s workforce through relevant digital solutions.


Digital transformation is creating digital divide that is impacting companies at multiple levels. These transformations are going to require a new breed of leaders that possess not only the business process orientation but also a clear ability to translate these processes into a strategic vision and roadmap to the future. Without these leaders the enterprise will continue to experience multiple individual silos of success that may not align to support the overall enterprise needs and priorities.

The next three years will see the dawning of a new 4th Industrial Revolution, and enterprises will need leaders that can navigate the waters to be successful. Organizational design for the human element of the future needs to be worked out now, with leaders needed across a broad spectrum of capabilities. The future enterprise will require the role of the CIO to evolve to be that of transformational business leader, technology strategist and business model innovator.



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