Story image

It's time to leave the planning stage and become a digital business

03 Sep 15

Digital business leaders are ‘pulling ahead of the pack’ as the gap between organisations undertaking digital initiatives and those only in the planning stage widens, according to a recent Gartner survey.

Respondents of the survey were asked to rank the importance of five success factors. Gartner then broke down the results according to whether companies were using digital marketing techniques (a precursor to digital business), were planning digital business or had already implemented digital business.

"The survey results underlined how digital business leaders are more likely than others to focus on design and the creation of new digital business moments,” says Jorge Lopez, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst.

Digital business moments are catalysts that set in motion a series of events and actions involving a network of people, businesses and things that spans or crosses multiple industries and multiple ecosystems, Gartner says.

"Digital business moments of untapped opportunity and competition can rapidly change the dynamics across industries," says Patrick Meehan, Gartner research vice president.

"As such, the successful design and development of business moments, which the company can replicate, are the most significant undertaking an organisation working to become a digital business can take.

“Innovative companies are tailoring digital business moments to complement their existing products and services," he says. 

The survey also revealed that most companies undertaking digital business initiatives don't make a distinction between digital business strategy and business strategy.

To this group, they are the same or integrated with the main business strategy. In comparison, those in the planning phase see the two as separate.

In practical terms, a company that’s moving from strategy to execution will have fewer steps to reach its goals compared with one that has to insert a separate planning process for digital business. Over time, even if the faster team stumbles, it can recover more rapidly than one that has more process for strategy, the survey shows.

Other survey results show that executives already in digital business are investing in piloting and deploying, while those at companies in the planning phase are focusing on investigation and experimentation.

The top priority for digital business front-runners is adopting new technology (70%). The next highest priorities are creating a highly collaborative environment (56%) and supporting customer-driven technology change (53%), which are both characteristic of a healthy digital business, says Gartner. 

When asked to identify what would be the impact of digital business over the next five years, organisational leaders overwhelmingly noted positives, anticipating improvements in customer experience and engagement (86%), IT organisation (86%), workforce productivity (84%) and sales organisation (83%).

Organisations appear to anticipate little downside to digital business with just 7% projecting a negative or significant negative impact in staff, and 6% in mergers and acquisitions, Gartner says.

"The disruptive effects of digital business cannot be underestimated," says Lopez.

"To date, a limited number of product categories - music, books, photographs and newspapers - have seen their business models upended.

"Going forward, organisational leaders in other product and service categories will also need to adapt by restructuring the workforce, eliminating obsolete roles, and finding talent that can help design systems and workflows that optimise the use of things integrated with people and business to drive new value for customers," he says.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."