Up until two decades ago, the world’s largest companies competed on the cost-quality advantage. Lean manufacturing, low operating costs and high product quality were the only components of the winning business formula. Today, new variables have entered to render the original equation imbalanced.
Technology has redefined the competitive landscape of today, blurring conventional industry boundaries, introducing competition from non-traditional players and lowering the barriers to entry. Companies with the largest market share do not necessarily have large infrastructure investments.
Aggregators such as Lyft, Uber and Airbnb thrive on the as-a-service model with minimum to no assets. Successful businesses are no longer confined by the traditional definitions that ruled the game and some of the most innovative companies are building off synergies that may seem unrelated but actually leverage or provide competitive advantage. Retailers such as Mothercare are offering new services to drive traffic to stores and make the most of their physical footprint. Communications providers are now charged with delivering entertainment content, technology companies are manufacturing vehicles and car manufacturers such as Tesla offer energy solutions.
There is a continuous shift underway, as companies and sectors appear, grow, merge and disappear. Surviving against this constant existential threat requires enterprises to change how they define themselves – not by their products but by the outcomes they enable and the value they deliver.
Agility and the ability to continuously innovate and reimagine customer experiences are now top priorities for leaders. To be able to truly achieve this, driving enterprise-wide digital transformation is the key.
Gone are the days when digital technologies were the realm of the IT organization. Today, technology is the integral thread that binds business strategy and enables continuous innovation. Business leaders and functional heads are fast becoming technology champions, approaching this challenge from a fresh perspective. Instead of trying to fit digital technologies into the existing business landscape, they are now actively looking to see what they can do with these technologies while retaining their core competitive advantage, discovering new applications and even business models in the process.
Pitney Bowes has transformed their business by doing just this. Traditionally an office mailing and postage meter company, Pitney Bowes has opened up a whole new revenue stream by using its own Commerce Cloud to help other retailers manage tracking and shipment and even enable social media companies to track users. Experian has evolved from a consumer credit reporting agency to a provider of financial solution recommendations by leveraging the full power of innovative data and analytics solutions. These stories aren’t the only ones. All around, companies are powering digital transformation to redefine their business proposition against a constantly changing competitive landscape.
Gone are the days when digital technologies were the realm of the IT organization. Today, technology is the integral thread that binds business strategy and enables continuous innovation.
3 Keys to Ensuring Transformation Success
Enabling business innovation with a digital core: An enterprise-wide digital-first approach is critical to gain the agility needed to take advantage of these new opportunities. This means redefining core enterprise processes with cloud platforms, applications, and services; and process redesign. This foundation is critical to taking advantage of new technologies and growth enablers such as blockchain and IoT.
Driving agile operations through process automation: Lean and agile processes that support rapid response to market changes are the order of the day. Companies are streamlining and automating processes to gain the advantages of speed, transparency and efficiency. Frontrunners are taking this journey to the next level, integrating contextual knowledge, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics with a focus on outcomes and not just efficiencies.
Reimaging customer experience with intelligent and connected ecosystems: An organization’s own boundaries no longer determine what it can deliver to its customers. Companies that succeed in the digital world are building seamless ecosystems, integrating partners, providers and vendors, gaining capabilities to deliver end to end customer experiences. And there are some that are far ahead in the game, delivering design led experiences through analytics based segmentation.
Undeniably, digital transformation is a journey, not the destination. Those that are succeeding at it have not paused at the first milestone. They continue to build on these initial successes so they are poised and ready to take advantage of every opportunity on the horizon to realize exponential value.
About the author(s)
Business & Technology Services
TCS’ Business and Technology Services organization combines the power of business excellence with digital innovations to help enterprises and leaders be purpose-driven and performance-oriented, making the shift from shareholder value to stakeholder value. By harnessing the abundance of data, talent, connectivity and capital, B&TS helps leading companies around the world build ecosystems that fuel growth and innovation, foster collaboration and engagement across ecosystems, improve health, safety, and well-being, enabling empowerment and inclusivity, and driving sustainability and positive environmental impact.