than half of the workers in midmarket enterprises require access to company
data. A survey says that on an average 14 types of mobile apps are in use in
small and mid-size businesses but only 13% of such businesses are fully
prepared to handle security challenges especially related to mobility. This has
resulted in an increase of 23% of the cost of a data breach on an average. And
the average price tag per breach is nearly $3.8M.
enterprise with mobile and cloud technology is essential to survive in this
cut-throat competition economy. Productivity increases exponentially when
people work together in teams seamlessly. A well-connected enterprise is bound
to lead digitally by bringing people and information closer and making them
easily accessible to stakeholders by breaking geographical and traditional
boundaries. Setting up multiple communication channels to improve connectivity
between individuals and data sources increases the potential of the decision
makers to arrive at informed decisions.
connect to the enterprise information from anywhere anytime boosts the
confidence of the staff. Many enterprises see faster sales closures because the
employee on the field is able to connect real-time with their colleagues and
access information about products that tend to get updated dynamically.
increase in the number of devices handled by people, it would only be wise on
the part of the employers to allow them to use one or more devices of their
choice to connect with enterprise data. Connecting on the go would give
them an added advantage to participate in strategic discussions and
decision-making session from remote locations. Mobile apps would help them
focus on their work anywhere they are. Visualization of data and interaction
with the data models would help them dig deeper into the relevant data points
would provide them a clear advantage while negotiating deals.
advent of the cloud, employees don’t have to get stuck to their work cubicles.
Cloud empowers them with mobility and freedom to move about and get closer to
their clients and customers. Cloud has thrown open possibilities of reaching
out to customers breaking geographical and market boundaries.
with the increase in mobility is the risk of exposing enterprise info in user
devices which might be pilfered or mishandled carelessly. So, it is essential
to protect business data wherever it goes and safeguard it from unauthorized
access and modern threats. Governmental regulations also require customer data
to be kept confidential and that only for a certain period of time until the
purpose for which it is collected and stored is met.
challenge. A survey
says that small and mid-sized businesses using a sales management solution see
a boost revenue by about 86%.
of sales people report that implementation of a CRM solution increases in
customer satisfaction levels and one every two enterprises see significant
improvement in customer retention and satisfaction.
new customers has always been a big challenge for enterprises. Marketing teams
that are launching out to new markets and customer segments need to gel well
with their sales teams to come up with successful campaigns to successfully
penetrate an already saturated and competitive ecosystem. A scalable and
dynamic collaboration model that can collect inputs form the field needs to be
in place to make such strategic moves.
have realized that it is much costlier - nearly 7 times - to acquire a new customer
than to retain one. Some also dole out additional discounts and design
personalized offers to an individual or a group of individuals who satisfy some
simple criteria to create stickiness and increase brand loyalty. This again
requires enough data containing the purchase history and preferences of the
customers. A seamless customer bond needs to be built with them if we are
looking at a long-term relationship. Profitability of a business in directly
related to the success with which a business can retain its customers.
enterprises need to create more touch points and improve interaction with
customers in order to analyze their sentiments towards their products. What
they feel about the usability, price and quality is to be collected as feedback
so that the product or service that the customer consumes undergoes the
required correction. This feedback mechanism closes the loop in the interaction
between the enterprise and the customer.
sales campaigns and personalized products would require data about the
customers. This can be achieved internally by implementing a sturdy Customer
Relationship Management solution that can gather and maintain not only basic
data but also updated information about the customer.
of the sales processes and streamlining of customer data to effective channels
for dynamic consumption would be essential. Teams that interact with customers
either from remote locations or face to face require this information so that
the discussion can be healthy and product pitch perfect. When there is an
effective collaboration atmosphere for the marketing and sales teams,
productivity is bound to increase, and sales outcomes would turn out to be
positive and predictable.
important aspect of building confidence in customers is to ensure that the data
acquired and stored about customers is kept private and safe. None would want
their personal data to be misused for purposes other than what it is intended
for. Nor would anyone want their data to be retained in systems that are open
to vulnerabilities. Securing apps, data and networks within which they are
shared is the responsibility of the enterprise to ensure privacy and safety of
challenge. The sole
driving force of enterprises to transform digitally is to put the customer at
the heart of every activity in the business.
determine the success and leadership of an enterprise. And customers are now
becoming tech savvy rapidly with the availability of cheaper devices packed
with digital power. What was a distant mirage for the common man has landed in
his hands with little effort from his side. Apps that span from e-commerce to
health monitoring to entertainment apart from official collaboration are
available for free or at an affordable rate. Most of these apps are provided by
sellers to increase touch points for gathering data and feedback from their
customers. Valuable inputs from customers can help enterprises design a very
personalized experience for customers. Targeted marketing campaigns can be
created for very special category of customers to promote stickiness and to
improve brand loyalty.
reality. With the
increase in complexity in organizations due to rapid growth in staff and
exponential growth in information, there is a need to create a conducive
atmosphere for seamless communication and collaboration. Today’s business
scenario requires enterprises to remain agile to changes mandated by customer
behavior. And customer behavior is unpredictable and highly volatile.
Empowering employees with the right kind of platform and tools to collaborate
and connect better is essential to address this challenge. Establishing more
channels to bring people and information closer in an enterprise will pave way
for better decision making and customer retention. Anywhere anytime access to
the enterprise resources through any device will improve mobility.
Democratization of information with actionable insights will place seamless
power in the hands of the relevant people to cater to the need of the customer
have organically grown internally but not all functions and departments are
well knit together as a fabric to function in unison. Ad hoc projects and
committees that mushroom time and again result in horizontal expansion that
operate in silos creating real challenge for effective governance and control.
Enterprises might lose focus on customers and their needs when firefighting
happens internally to contain the challenges in running the organization. Teams
that function in geographically separated locations are prone to remain
isolated from the overall functioning of things in the enterprise unless there
is an efficient collaboration mechanism. Optimizing these operations would result
in functional and operational teams working together to pay increased attention
to the customers’ needs.
changing today with consumerism calling the shots in enterprises. Established
businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with the changing behavior of
customers. They are just one mouse-click away from losing a customer forever.
Flagship products are losing their relevance in this changing world of varied
customer preferences. Startups are ruling the day with their innovative
products and enterprises are forced to package their products as services to
remain competent and retain customers. Airplane engines are replaced by air
times. Capital goods are offered as subscription services. Real estates are let
for rent rather than being sold. Taxis are hired instead of cars being bought.
Banks operate with literally no physical presence; room-stays and holiday
packages are available with no property owned; content is proliferating while
nothing is originally created; Food lands on the table from virtual kitchens.
Customers want all of these in the comfort of their homes and work-spots and in
their familiar devices that they carry day in and day out.
challenge. The economic
environment is undergoing the 4th industrial revolution with the
advent of new technologies brought about by the nexus of forces – Social media,
mobility, Information pattern and the Cloud-
as Gartner puts it.
started as an internal networking tool for students at Harvard 13 years ago has
grown into a $525 B enterprise called Facebook. It has more than two billion
(two hundred crore) monthly active users as of June 2017 – nearly one third of
the world population. Twitter has nearly 280 million users and it is only
growing by the minute. Instagram has 150 million users sharing their updates
and photos every day. Social media is here to stay and becoming more powerful
by the second.
more hours are spent online by people as there is proliferation of devices,
availability of internet connectivity and usage of apps for everything – from
official work to personal use, social networking and entertainment.
of data connectivity almost everywhere has resulted in people accessing the
internet from anywhere anytime through any device. Mobility of employees has
increased manifold as people have started using multiple devices in contrast to
a desktop being shared by more than one person some years ago.
of the public cloud for enterprise consumption has turned the game against
investing for technology in millions upfront. And the huge resources that the
cloud can now bring to the enterprises has resulted in increased use of digital
technology for business purposes like never before.
availability of huge resources on the cloud has also favored the exponential
growth of data – not just in the form of files, mails and structured data but
also in the form of continuous inflow of digital data from various embedded
devices called the Internet of Things – the emergence of web 3.0 that now
captures data from every user and device connected to the world-wide web.
reality. The coming
together of these forces has ultimately brought in a disruption to our normal
way of working in the enterprise. All efforts to keep employees from the social
networking sites have failed, enterprises that fail to provide mobility to the
staff have started lagging behind, maintaining an on-premises infrastructure
has become a huge challenge
and providing infrastructure to capture, store, manage and safeguard huge data
inflow has become costly.
are now forced to look at these challenges in a different angle – putting these
forces to work for the growth of the enterprises rather than to shy away from
them. As a survey predicts, 25% of the world economy will be digital by 2020.
So, a significant number of enterprises have already launched out to capitalize
on the opportunities they see in this disruptive environment. Non-starters and
late comers face the risk of being left behind and getting lost in these times
third industrial revolution flooded in the digital technology and pervaded
every desk with a desktop or a laptop. However, this took nearly a quarter of a
century to make a man’s dream come true. But here is the deluge – the fourth
industrial revolution that tries to bring digital in every realm that man has
set his foot on. The volume and pace with which this has invaded this planet is
technology promised a lot triggering huge investment by enterprises over long
periods, the results had always remained a mirage for decision makers. A major
reason for this might have been because of a lack of a unifying vision across
technology deployments. Another reason might have been the lack of seamless
information flow for businesses to make intelligent decisions. Data kept
flowing in in bits and pieces, from various silo systems and in disparate forms
that contributed little to the enterprises for sustenance and growth. Various
functions in the enterprise could not harvest actionable insights from business
data that had been accumulating over the years. The data just remained dead in
systems for enough time that it had only increased the cost of safekeeping day
IT and digital had remained a supportive
function with limited business role for quite long but has now quickly moved to
a state where it is currently playing a transformational role spreading an all
pervasive intelligent mesh touching and transforming all aspects of business.
reality. Now, there
is a realization that technology infrastructure should talk to each other and
work in unison to produce value for the enterprise. Data that has been lying
fallow for years should be harnessed to show reality and predict the future for
the enterprise to device its course of action. There is valuable IT infra in
the enterprise datacenters and a rich collection of data that contain a wealth
of information for executives to strategize their approach for expanding their
business, reaching potential markets and increasing their revenue and profits.
industries have started investing heavily in digital transformation as they
realize that digital business is intelligent business in the current state of
IT affairs. The top ten highest spending industries are expected to spend $151
billion (approximate Rs.10 lakh crores) in the next two years capitalizing on this
unprecedented opportunity. Financial services lead the pack with the highest
intended spending during this transformation journey. Manufacturing and Retail
business have also jumped into the bandwagon so that they don’t want to be left
behind by the startups and digital leaders that rely heavily on digital for
their success and leadership.
enterprise is ensured of leadership in the respective industry if it is already
digitally transformed or is transforming at a quick pace. All that is required
is build capabilities in digital as well as in leadership. It is essentials
that the enterprise excels in both these dimensions. Falling short in one of
the two might not yield desired results and would sometimes wreck the journey.
with strong technology leadership alone might not qualify for a digital
transformation success. Alternatively, enterprises with access to enough
technology but with no good leadership and vision is sure to fail in the effort
an enterprise does not have a digital vision at all, it is sure to fall behind
rapidly. Enterprises might think that they are not the best candidates for the
digital transformation journey or that there is no threat to their existence as
far as they can perceive. Remember Kodak? A latecomer in the journey is also
sure to miss the bus. While ignorance might not be the reason, a wait-and-see
approach might be the spoiler in the already frenzy business environment. Such
enterprises wrongly assume that the transformation journey is not necessary now
as the environment does not provide a compelling reason to launch out right
away. A few lack leadership capabilities to make thing happen. Others complain
of regulations or lack of privacy that might be undesired by-products of the
transformation process as social media and the Cloud are its integral parts.
are enterprises that keep acquiring the latest technology just for the sake of
being trendy in the market. They flaunt it to the outside world but little
seems to have changed in the core. Such fashionable approach might only seem to
bring progress but ultimately would limit bigger opportunities. A lack of
strong digital leadership and / or governance might result in wasted expenditure.
Sometimes, enterprises might want to reverse what has been done due to no clear
vision on integration and scalability. Putting in place incompatible
technologies or those that do not bring in a synergy might result in frustration
in the part of the consumer – employees or customers. Devising different and multiple
marketing strategies that overlap markets might confuse the consumer and result
in undesired internal clashes.
Enterprises that take a conservative approach cannot become successful and
might be beaten by others, sometimes, by greenfield players and startups.
Possessing leadership capabilities is not everything. Enterprises must also
build digital capabilities. Such enterprises are very cautious, ensuring every
digital investment is carefully considered and strongly coordinated. They don’t
want to commit mistakes resulting in wasted time, effort and money. This might
result in the company falling into a governance trap that focuses more on
controls and rules than making progress. The top management – and therefore the
organization as a whole - cannot be mobilized too. Enterprises that are trying
to prevent failure will not make progress at all.
- some inputs gleaned from Leading Digital - HBR Press
A global car
rental company that does not own even one car. A global hospitality services
provider that does not own even a room. A food services provider without a
kitchen or even an oven. A leading manufacturer of Airplane engines that does
not intend to sell their product anymore but is seeing unprecedented revenue
growth. A leading Indian paint manufacturer who is no longer interested in
selling its paints but expanded globally and have earned profits of more than
15% year on year for nearly a decade.
All these businesses
mentioned above are today leaders in their own way because of a transformation
that has been brought about by digital technology – the business disruption that
has emerged because of the nexus of forces – Social, Mobile, Information flow
and the Cloud.
It is rare
to find an enterprise that can be called leader in digital transformation – where
the company uses digital technologies to transform the way they do business all
the while driving significantly higher levels of profit, productivity and
performance. There are very few such enterprises in India to date.
enterprise that leads digitally will outperform its peers; according to a
survey they are at least 25% more profitable than their average industry competitors,
generate nearly 10% more revenue with their existing physical capacity and
drive more efficiency in their existing products and processes.
leader in Digital is not an impossible task. All it requires is time and a
courage to lead. Time – as it is a process and does not show results overnight.
Courage – as it involves taking risks and bold steps to explore, identify and
pursue the change.
There is a
torrent of data that is generated by the Internet of Things that the digital
leaders use to combine it with Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and
visualization to help them make informed decisions. They can see the future
more clearly, drive out inefficiencies and better understand their customers.
leaders build digital capabilities by rethinking and improving their business
processes, their customer engagements and their business models. They also build
strong leadership capabilities to envision and drive transformation.
leaders go beyond websites and mobile apps to engage with customers. They also
break some of the paradoxes of traditional operational excellence and build capabilities
that improve efficiency and agility, power new customer engagements and enable
new business models. Delivery models are reconfigured, new products and
services are created and sometimes whole new industries are created.
who want to lead digitally take a top-down approach. Senior management shows the
direction and workers are engaged to make the change happen. Creating a
transformative vision is the first step, though. The onus of energizing the
employees to make the vision a reality is on the CXOs. Governance at every
level will keep the transformation engine on track. Technology is the fuel that
will power this transformation engine.
- some inputs gleaned from Leading Digital – HBR press.