Increase Your Digital Enterprise Intensity

Eric J. Bruno
April 2016

How serious are you with your digital strategy and initiatives? Be careful not to let your customers be more digitally transformed than you are. Instead, make sure you’re ahead of your competition, your customers, and even the traditional business models of your very own company. Shoot for the impossible with what Google calls moon shots and set goals for digital transformation and enablement that may seem impossible. Let’s explore six principals that will help you create the digital enterprise of the future, today.

1. Think beyond cost savings and efficiencies.

If your goal is a multi-billion dollar valuation, you need to stop using technology just to cut costs and begin thinking about how it will truly grow your business. For example, technology can help you:

2. Cultivate Human Resources.

Do you have the right people and the right skillsets? Is training enough? Better yet, are you offering the best working environment? It’s important to make sure your employees have the skills they need, but it’s even more important to help them want to succeed. As you transform your enterprise, consider transforming your workplace through technology. Whether it’s through work-at-home enablement, flexible IT choices, a personal device allowance, or allotting each employee time to explore new ideas while on the job, the resulting increase in motivation often pays dividends.

3. Cultivate Technology Resources.

Traditional business practices and the IT that go along with them aren’t enough. IT needs to be your competitive advantage. You need to cultivate an organization full of innovators, free thinkers, and achievers.

But remember that to succeed, you don’t need to create new technologies. Instead, you need to understand how to use the latest technology effectively. This means making actionable decisions with data you have through business intelligence (BI) and governance. Governance helps you create repeatable success stories with minimal overhead and risk, while BI tools help fine-tune and automate the decision process.

4. Destroy your technology.

This may seem drastic, and counter to the previous point, but it’s not. Consider virtualizing every system and moving it to the cloud. If you still maintain your own datacenter(s), you’re not realizing the full value of the digital enterprise. Instead, choose a public cloud vendor who will manage everything for you, from hardware maintenance, software upgrades, and the infrastructure in between. If you absolutely must maintain data in an onsite data lake, go with a hybrid approach (a combination of public cloud with private cloud or on-premises solution), but this should only be to maintain your sensitive data.

Sure, security is always a concern, but the truth is that a cloud vendor as partner may be your best ally when it comes to securing your business and customer data. Reliability and security are cloud vendors’ main business; use them to help minimize your risk.

5. Leverage Analytics.

Predictive analytics, trends analysis, and data mining help you predict outcomes such as the result of a sales campaign, know your customers’ needs before they even do, and offer (or even create) add-on products to sell to existing customers. However, analytics go beyond these areas, and stretch to other aspects of your business such as security. For example, security analytics help you both detect and predict data breaches and cyber attacks before they compromise your systems or acquire sensitive data.

6. Seamless mobility.

We’ve all heard of—and are probably part of—the BYOD revolution. Obviously, your employees and customers are becoming increasingly mobile. Instead of fighting this, you’re better off supporting it. Mobility can extend your business, no matter where your traditional medium lies, to your end users wherever they are, at any time.

Mobility can get you there, but you need a strategy. For example, simply having a mobile app isn’t it: your business needs to attach to both employees’ and customers’ lives via social media, beacons, and other aspects of your customers’ digital lifestyles. Helping to give them relevant information and offers in a timely manner, without specifically having to look for it, will help keep them engaged. This leads to growing sales for customers, and increased productivity for employees.

Bonus Principal: Customer First

The main goal is to digitally enable your customers and improve their experience with your business—not the other way around. Turning your company into the best digital enterprise possible will ensure customers continue to come back, and your business grows as you find new ways to meet their needs.