Disrupt or Be Disrupted

Disrupt or be Disrupted: A Framework for Directing Digital Transformation at the Board Level

Our new report will teach you how to leverage digital, mobile, and social technologies to transform your marketing, channels, products, and business model.DISRUPT OR BE DISRUPTED COVER FULL

The rapid adoption of digital technologies by customers and competitors is disrupting every industry and creating value at an accelerated pace.  Advances in technology and marketing science have armed businesses with an expanded pallet of powerful digital platforms and tools with the potential to create new value, disrupt the competition, and delight customers.  These highly scalable technology platforms are changing the way businesses connect with and create value for customers.  These highly scalable technology platforms are changing the way businesses connect with and create value for customers. They have catalyzed a wave of digital innovation by both new digital “natives” start-ups like Waze and Blue Apron and legacy businesses like GE and Hilton who are using them to adapt their products, channels, and business models. These digital innovators are creating hundreds of millions of dollars of value in a matter of months with product, channel, and business model innovations that exploit the rapid adoption of these digital technology platforms and changes in customer behavior.

The pace of digital innovation is accelerating. CEOs no longer have the luxury of time to manage secular decline of their core business, develop strategic plans, or pursue late adopter strategies. As a result, digital innovation has emerged as a top strategic priority  and 90% of global businesses have initiated a formal digital transformation initiative of some form according to a survey of 573 global business leaders by Forbes Insights entitled How to Win at Digital Transformation.

The vast majority of business leaders are trying to incorporate digital platforms into their business model to stay relevant to their customers, stave off digital competitors, and grow the equity value of their businesses. These programs vary in scope and purpose. But according to Futurum Research they are generally accompanied by a significant investment in a growing array of digital platforms, including but not limited to: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cognitive Computing (Artificial Intelligence),Mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Virtualization.

While almost every company is pursuing digital transformation to some degree, The Forbes survey found that most still do not have CEO engagement in the initiative or an organization-wide strategy and execution plan in place.  Less than a third have significant executive level sponsorship. And in most those cases that leadership comes from the Chief Technology Officer. As a direct consequence, recent estimates from Forbesindicate that the majority (84%) of these programs have failed to generate the desired results so far.

A CEO needs to be aware and vested in digital innovation for these strategies to “future proof” and grow the value of their business asset with intelligent innovation investment and purposeful action. Their leadership is necessary to separate and prioritize the critical tasks of establishing a digital innovation vision, strategy, and investment portfolio from the “noise” of digital tactics, trends, and technologies.

As a starting point, every CEO needs to ask and answer five questions if they are going to effectively lead the digital transformation. They are not easy to answer. But attempting to answer these questions will help your organization better understand and manage the impact of digital technologies, disruptive threats, and changing customer behavior on their business.

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