The Power of Digital Strategy and Key Trends

I found it very hard to write an Insight post this week in light of the migrant crisis, everything seems to pale into insignificance. Nevertheless I have written on Digital Strategy, the Future Workplace and Key Digital Trends. But I would first like use digital to draw your attention to how we can help our fellow humans who are suffering and in need:
The 2015 Digital Business Global Executive Study and Research Project by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte identifies technology as a means to achieve strategic ends in the digital arena (but not as an end in itself). It found that companies that avoid risk-taking are unlikely to thrive — and they’ll also lose talent, as employees across all age groups want to work for businesses committed to digital progress. They found three key trends that will impact digital strategy going forward that business have to be on top of and prepared for.
The Power of Digital Strategy
‘The ultimate power of a digital strategy lies in its scope and objectives. The trap to avoid, according to Nicholas Carr, is focusing on technology as an end in itself. Instead, technology should be a means to strategically potent ends
In companies with low digital maturity, approximately 60% of respondents say that improving innovation and decision making are digital strategy objectives. In digitally maturing organizations, nearly 90% of strategies focus on improving decisions and innovation. Maturing digital businesses are focused on integrating digital technologies, such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud, in the service of transforming how their businesses work. Less-mature digital businesses are focused on solving discrete business problems with individual digital technologies.’
“Senior leadership must really understand the power of digital technologies,” says Carlos Dominguez, president and COO of Sprinklr, an enterprise social technology provider. “This is as much a transformation story as it is a technology one.”
The Future Workplace
‘The best approach may be to turn the traditional strategy development process on its head. Benn Konsynski Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, proposes that rather than analyzing current capabilities and then plotting an organization’s next steps, organizations should work backwards from a future vision.
“The future is best seen with a running start,” Konsynski comments. “Ten years ago, we would not have predicted some of the revolutions in social or analytics by looking at these technologies as they existed at the time. I would rather start by rethinking business and commerce and then work backwards.”
Just as important as developing talent is reducing the risk of losing it. On average, nearly 80% of respondents say they want to work for a digitally enabled company or digital leader. The sentiment crosses all age groups, from 22 to 60, nearly equally. “The myth is that digital technology is a young person’s game,” says Scott Monty, Principal at Scott Monty Strategies. “At one point, women over 55 represented the fastest-growing Facebook demographic. This is about how humans interact, not just about how Millennials do.”
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In my interview with Di Burton – we discussed the fact that social and technology cannot be a bolt on but behaviour is the real key factor.
‘The board are starting to recognise the need for mobile, now it is not just young people with smartphones on Facebook, it is for everyone of all ages. They do seem to have an understanding those principles and are starting to recognise the power of technology and what it can do in this area.”
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3 Key Trends
The report examined what executives and thought leaders see on the three- to five-year horizon that companies should be cognizant of. The discussions found three key trends that will impact digital strategy going forward
Greater integration between online and offline experiences
Emory University professor Konsynski says that digital technology will provide a completely immersive experience: “to levels we have never experienced in our personal or work lives.”
Data will be more tightly infused into processes
‘Organizational cultures must be primed to embrace analytics and the use of data in decision making and processes. In last year’s social business report, we found that socially mature organizations integrate social data into decisions and operations.’
Business models will reach their sell-by dates more quickly
‘Leaders of the so-called “sharing economy” such as Uber, the mobile ride-services company, and Airbnb, the online accommodations marketplace, are rewriting the economics of their industries. Other disruptions are waiting in the wings. Emory professor Konsynski points out that the very premise of ownership is fading away, and Millennials are less interested in ownership than are members of earlier generations. The onus is on leaders to stay ahead of the curve for their industries’ evolving business models. “By the time it’s obvious you need to change, it’s usually too late,” says John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO. “Very often you have to be willing to make a big move even before most of your advisers are on board. You have to be bold. And you need a culture that lets you figure out how to win even without a blueprint.’
Read the full report here…