Sunday, December 22, 2013

Top Business Traits of Digital Maturity

The Core of Digitalization is People and How to Build a Customer-Centric Organization. 

High mature digital organizations are being called “Digirati.”, as they have the high-level digital capability not only to build digital innovations but also to drive enterprise-wide transformation. And they benefit from their actions as Digirati have significantly higher financial performance than their less digitally mature competitors. Generally speaking, they have the following digital traits:

Hyper-Connectivity: Hyper-connectivity is the most critical digital characteristics. Digitalization opens a new door and connects within department silos, across the walls, across the streets, across the seas, and across the planet. When things connect in this way, any entity wishing to negotiate a successful journey has to understand what the implications of this degree of connectivity mean to them. They have to understand what it means to their business or organization. But much more importantly, they have to understand the external changing connected environment.

Collaboration & co-creation: Social technologies enable social behaviors to take place online, endowing these interactions with scale, speed and disruptive economics of the internet; provide platforms for content creation, distribution, and consuming, co-creation and transformation of personal and group communication into the content. The real power of social technology also comes from the innate appeal of interacting socially and pleasure and intellectual stimulation that people derive from sharing what they know, expressing opinions and learning what others know and think.

Intelligence: The “what, the why and the how" of analytics helps to inform digital strategy. Analytics is about the "why". And you should care about the "why" because it will tell you tomorrow’s "what". Analytics is not about getting to a point certain, but rather it needs to be used as a tool for reducing uncertainty in business. To make analytics pervasive within an organization, it needs to be promoted as a way of reducing, not eliminating or explaining uncertainty in both strategic decision executives make and the daily decisions the staff make. As computing resources have evolved, with advancing capabilities to better handle data size and complexity, companies stand to reap many more benefits from analytics. The evolutionary journey of data analytics reflects the trend moving from analyzing historical perspective into capturing business foresight, from operational perception to customer insight.

Abundance: Abundance is the trend, the progress, and the pursuit. At the age of information, "abundance" means information flow; at age of globalization, "abundance" means the beauty of diversity; at age of crowd-sourcing, "abundance" means the multitude of point of views; at age of digitalization, abundance means hyper-connectivity: When we approach others with a sense of abundance, working and living with that idea in mind, we're likely to be more creative, more innovative, more caring. Not to underestimate the challenge of balancing awareness of current reality with your mindset for what is possible, but the more abundance of the paradigm informs our behavior the better our future looks.

Simplicity: Simplicity is the digital design characteristic of looking for what is common for maximum, reuse. Simplicity is the building block of digital business. Complexity is the content put in the building blocks and the outcomes from interactions with the building blocks. Simplicity means or is related to too many things such as manageability, availability, scalability, flexibility, reliability, robustness, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, speed, responsiveness, etc. With simplicity, the goal of digitalization is to add clarity and purpose. Removing complexity such as assumptions & dependencies more clearly reveals the intentions of the architecture and its purpose. Things are easier to adapt or evolve not as a result of any "flexibility" that was put in, but as a result of what was explicitly left out and how it was left out. Certain aspects of the problem space may be inherently complex. 

User Experience: At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. Engaging customers directly on an ongoing basis to see how their goals are changing is a good way to architect customer-centric organizations. By understanding customer goals, the digital organization could also develop better interaction capabilities to enhance customer experience. There are frequently “fundamental differences” between the organization's view of value and that of customers and consumers, and sometimes, "Customer-Centric Organization" means very different things to different people. Customer experience comes from all touchpoints, yet industrial organizations are structured by departments and it hinders the company’s ability to create value. The consideration of digital design may include: How would you ensure that all structures, processes and strategy alignment around excellent customer experience to result in a profitable and evolving business? How would you model different value propositions to different customer segments yet developing and offering the product and services using the same or similar business capabilities? 

Resilience: Business resilience is the business capability to make the organization more resilient: not just controlling risk, but managing risk with intelligence. Businesses are faced with more opportunities and risks in the digital era, being resilient is about failing faster, failing forward, failing cheaper and recovering more promptly. Digital Resilience depends on how to manage the gray effectively at today’s VUCA –Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous business environment. The key is balance, give enough autonomy to the business to make its own decisions on taking or avoiding risks, put in place a mandated risk tolerance structure via escalation requirements based on current risk ratings, and get the balance right should result in the future vision aspects, and also provide information to the assurance lines that evaluate the business risk profile for analytical breakthroughs.

A digital organization with these business traits continues to climb up its maturity level from efficiency, effectiveness, to agility-the crucial ability to adapt to business dynamics.


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