Table of Content
- Threats from Disruptive Technologies
- Innovate Where Software Meets Business
- Digital Consultancy Areas
- Platforms, Ecosystems, and Networks
- Types of platforms
Most organizations don’t have in house all the necessary experience and technology needed to start a digital transformation or to avoid failure. In a collaborative business scenario, a digital consulting firm plays a fundamental role in partnering with clients to plan and design a digital strategy as well as to analyze different technologies to understand and evaluate their long-term effects.
Threats from Disruptive Technologies
- How to sense potential threats?
- What can you do about it? Does your business need a new approach?
- How can your business become a more powerful player within your ecosystem?
Enterprises that embrace digital capabilities and integrate them with operating methods can respond quickly to markets and create thriving businesses.
Innovate Where Software Meets Business
Software systems are complex. Predicting markets for launching new products within the current pace of innovation makes it of prime importance to transform the enterprise into a fully digital operation.
Our economy is driven by digital technologies—it is basically moved by software development as well as services built on top of that, which makes the management of systems and the methods of operating a business crucial to keep up with the rhythms of innovation.
In the digital economy, products and services evolve so fast, leading to short production cycles that continuously change and evolve, adding large doses of uncertainty and complexity. It has become a necessity for businesses to design business operating systems that can continually monitor and improve, taking into account user feedback mechanisms and a learning approach in their evolution.
Your company vision must include both plans to overcome digital disruption as well as a digital strategy to spot industry trends in order to create competitive advantages.
Digital Strategy. A digital strategy is a plan to transform by integrating business and technology architectures—which requires analyzing your company’s core digital capabilities, operations structures, and culture to discover opportunities and define initiatives to craft a transformation roadmap. Transformational strategies vary and are customized for each business depending on competitive forces, industry structure, scenarios, and other factors that require an integrated examination of the enterprise.
Strategic Transformation. Due to the fast pace of business and technology development, companies must assess scenarios for adapting to disrupted markets and rethink their business models. In order to build value in uncertain and complex environments, a digital strategy for transformation can help identify opportunities and trends, often in the same sector, that can direct stakeholders to define the next moves to take in the company’s digital roadmap.
Digital Maturity. A framework for understanding the position and digital maturity of a company sets the stage for creating value. Some aspects of digital maturity are business–IT alignment, readiness, competency, adaptation speed, culture, and vision.
Digital Roadmap. A strategic transformation first requires analysis of a company’s situation, the impacts, changes, solutions, and initiatives that are relevant in various areas of the business. A digital roadmap, or digital transformation roadmap, is a comprehensive approach performed in stages, comprised of many plans and activities tailored to each individual client company.
Business Model Innovation. Disruption forces businesses to transform, often by enhancing or creating new collaborative operating business models and value propositions.
Businesses innovate and make changes to operating models to improve their value proposition—digitizing operations and standardizing unique capabilities into services that lead to continuous, predictable delivery.
A business model innovation approach is unique for every organization, focusing on specific strategies, competitive advantages, and industry challenges. Some common approaches include reinventing or scaling current core business, exiting core business, developing new core business, and exploring new markets—as well as embracing a software-driven business model with continuous development and delivery of apps.
Culture and IT Capabilities. Companies build talent, culture, and capabilities to allow innovation and to tackle unpredictability. The engagement and commitment of a company’s stakeholders, management, and teams are of utmost importance if sustainable change is to occur and cross-functional teams are to be empowered with the capabilities to support change.
Competitive Advantages. Digital consulting experts analyze the intersection of digital and competitive advantages as a starting point for defining a digital transformation strategy. How is software having an impact in creating or destroying a competitive moat? Some of the main competitive advantage determinants in the digital age are:
- Rate of Innovation
- Switching Costs
- Cost Advantages
- Revenue Mechanism
- Operational Scale
- Improved User Experience
- Rate of Learning
- Economies of Scale
- Learning Effect
- AI Digitized Operations
Competitive Moat. A company’s competitive moat is their ability to stay ahead of competitors, uniquely protecting profits and market share. The company’s long-term strength and sustainability intersects with uncertainty and change brought by technologies. Therefore, it is of primary importance for the digital consultant to understand how the company creates value as well as the attributes that can provide a competitive moat to a company.
Data Strategy and Analytics. A data strategy must be created in order to optimize technology, since becoming a data-driven organization is a critical component of the digital transformation journey.
Data is an asset from which insights are extracted, thereby providing a competitive advantage. Businesses design workflows and solutions to deploy advanced analytics throughout all data points and transform data into actionable insights—providing real-time visualization and analysis to management teams. Digital consultants are mostly focused on developing services around the data strategy.
Digital Strategy Areas
Digital transformation has proven challenging for many business leaders. Digital natives are taking over legacy companies, making transformation unavoidable for those who want to keep generating profits. Digital transformation is about designing a business that can respond to future technologies and customer needs, thereby minimizing the risk of disruption.
Business executives need to (re)design the business for digital by synchronizing interactions among people, process, and technology.
Businesses capitalize on digital technologies by digitizing the business, enhancing operational efficiency, and creating new value propositions. But companies are limited in delivering innovative digital offerings because of the lack of culture integration and competencies.
Define, Develop, and Market New Offerings
Companies must identify and introduce new digital value propositions to start learning how those products or services will change their current offerings (core business) in the future, knowing that new digital offerings often come with the potential to disrupt the business.
Siloed organizations sometimes create smaller organizational units that work as digital natives to redesign a part of the business to deliver new offerings, while creating the organizational structure and skills to support and respond in a fast cycle of decisions and consistent delivery.
Digital Transformation Roadmap—Building Blocks
Customer. Evaluate customer insights in order to identify new digital offering demands and formulate digitally inspired solutions. What can your company develop? How can you reimagine your value propositions?
Operational Backbone. Digitizing business processes and operations with technologies is critical for enhancing operational excellence and value propositions. Developing an operational backbone requires the optimization of operational processes, the integration of systems, and the collection of data to support the business’s core operations, replacing legacy systems as a requirement for transforming into a digital company.
There is a race for building software to automate operational workflows that oversee businesses—and with minimum intervention of people and no scaling limits.
IT Architecture. Architectural innovation must be flexible and scalable to configure business, data, and infrastructure components for delivering digital offerings. Businesses can support innovation by incrementally building a digital platform with repositories of digital components that can be reused.
Framework. Businesses must define a framework in order to assign responsibilities and accountability for components and new offerings, in accordance with guiding principles to balance autonomy and alignment.
How do enterprises achieve scale in IoT? Gaining a competitive advantage in IoT often requires partnering with a digital consulting firm that specializes in software development. Digital consultants help businesses craft IoT strategies and implement IoT solutions.
IoT is a significant digital strategy component for creating new value propositions, which are essential for business transformation, revenue improvement, and customer experience.
IoT opportunities can create value by connecting assets, reducing maintenance costs and downtime, increasing operational efficiencies, and monetizing the generated data.
Managing and operating IoT solutions requires tailoring and integrating multiple solutions and data sources.
Data generated by devices generate high-margin revenue streams through traditional products and new offerings from partnerships derived through collaboration with ecosystem players—service providers throughout the data value chain, such as platform services, analytics, connectivity, and integrators.
Digital IoT strategy requires enterprises to identify use cases, develop IoT data-enabled solutions, and select the right IoT business model to fit their unique value proposition as a main competitive advantage.
Businesses also require a digital strategy to monetize their IoT solutions, drive platform adoption, analyze different revenue models and value-added services, and redesign operational processes.
Mobile app development and integration consulting services help craft strategies to incorporate app development into the center of the transformation process with investment in microservices’ cloud-native infrastructure.
The app development approach must consider the optimal environment, development platform software, frameworks, tools, techniques, and resources. Due to the diversity of devices and platforms, choosing the right tools is critical for a successful mobile app development strategy.
When building a mobile app, there are four major approaches—native, cross-platform, hybrid, and progressive web applications—each with its own considerations, advantages, and disadvantages. Some of the primary factors to consider include user experience, performance, features, building and maintenance costs, device features, and support, for example.
Mobile developers that create and manage their own back-end services and have skills in running back-end infrastructure have advantages in scalability, reliability, and security. It is critical to develop app logic that connects with back-end services to retrieve and update the app’s data.
Cloud-native application development unlocks agility in app delivery through feedback-driven cycles, adding new features as needed and choosing the right product ecosystems that support services with specific capabilities. The goal is to build and deploy solutions quickly using continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) workflows.
The mobile application lives on the mobile device (front-end), and it is supported by the back-end services that provide data through application programming interfaces (APIs). These APIs are owned by the developer or by a third party that governs and grants access. APIs are directly available from the platform or integrated by adding a software development kit (SDK).
Cloud computing brings agility for innovation, and it is the basis of business transformation. The cloud provides elasticity for provisioning resources that scale up or down as needed. It offers access to topnotch technologies regardless of company size or capital investments in physical infrastructure.
The cloud has provided the perfect scenario for hundreds of startups that have disrupted markets. Digital consulting services provide expertise and recommendations about cloud computing strategy and cloud-based services aligned with digital transformation initiatives and business goals.
Migrating to cloud services requires combining solutions with the right native toolsets that match the organization’s requirements for cross-platform operations consistency and platform-specific functionalities.
Cloud migration strategy approaches must consider cloud management processes, evaluate requirements and capabilities continuously for optimal integration of solutions, and analyze workloads placement.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning algorithms, known as “learners,” is a technology that builds a model to make predictions from data by combining logical operations and a sequence of instructions to the computer for an intended function. A learner turns data into algorithms which are used to discover (learn) knowledge from the data it is collecting, which can then become the input to other algorithms.
Solving business problems by turning data into information is a paradigm shift. Businesses must develop a conceptual solution and understand where it fits in the digital strategy. This requires understanding the problem parts and expressing them as an algorithm in plain language in order to build a model to compute the predictions.
What can we predict? Where is machine learning taking us?
Building a learning machine for business use requires a perceptive mindset about analytics to avoid using the wrong algorithms, develop flexible information systems, and keep an eye on new technologies.
Successful businesses depend on their algorithms and data to learn the best models, which are kept running as companies continuously adjust their offerings. Machine learning is a disruptive technology that is being used to develop businesses with zero-human operations.
A digital consultant can provide a quick assessment of investing in machine learning software capabilities, such as training machine learning algorithms. Consultants can also match customers with programmers with statistical mindsets and expertise for creating algorithms on top of other algorithms.
Platforms, Ecosystems, and Networks
Digital Platforms. Developing a digital platform strategy relevant to the market, the business proposition, and strategic objectives can boost earnings and performance due to many underlying factors. Participating—either through company-owned platforms, third-party platforms, or global platforms—increases cooperation and collaboration that brings benefits and strength.
Digital platforms are mostly about interactions and transactions among consumers, service providers, and stakeholders, cutting traditional organizational structures and enabling a new operating model.
Digital platforms can bring a competitive advantage. Successful platforms create delightful user experiences and gain wide user adoption, creating a community of users.
Types of platforms:
- Ecommerce Marketplace platforms
- Multiple platforms
- Learning platforms
- Payment platforms
- Audience-builder platforms
- Complementary platforms
Ecosystems allow a collection of technology services to integrate as components as well as integrating business functionality and applications with third-party platforms.
Platform-based ecosystems that are cohesively orchestrated and attract and retain partners and customers are taking on traditional businesses’ profits.
Ecosystems stimulate network effects (i.e., new members are attracted by the user base, and a larger variety of offerings appear from new partners), creating growth through various methods but also creating entry barriers.
Networks. Participating in ecosystems links companies to other businesses in the network that complement them, opening up the systems and capabilities to connect to external partner systems. Companies develop lightweight architectures with system components available as well as open and dynamic interfaces that can work in real-time. Connecting services and integrating functions to the ecosystem expands customers’ and partners’ networks, enabling its offering on a global scale.
Assessing the threats and opportunities, technologies, and network values is a strategic value in the digital transformation process.
Companies must allocate resources and invest in transforming processes, infrastructure, and technology to compete in software-driven markets.