Digital Leaders Blog

The Digital Transformation Playbook

A useful reading list addition for the Digital Leadership workshops we run.

The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age (Columbia Business School Publishing) 5 Apr 2016 by David L. Rogers.

The book is structure around 'Five Domains of Digital Transformation' as summarised in the extracts below: 

Customers - Digital technologies change how we connect and create value with our customers. We may have grown up in a world in which companies broadcast messages and shipped products to customers. But today the relationship is much more two-way. Buying behaviour, whether B2C or B2B, is now heavily influenced by customer-to-customer communication and reviews. Dynamic participation by and engagement with customers have become a critical driver of business success.

Competition - Digital technologies transform how we think about competition. Increasingly, we are competing with companies from outside as well as inside our industry, stealing our customers with new digital offerings. Competitive collaboration through a strong network of partners is becoming critical to sustained growth and profitability.

Data - In traditional businesses, data was expensive to obtain, difficult to store, and utilised in organisational silos. Today, data is being generated at an unprecedented rate with cloud-based systems for data storing becoming cheaper, readily available and easy to use. The biggest challenge today is turning the enormous amount of data we have into actionable insight.

Innovation - Digital technologies are transforming the way businesses innovate. Traditionally, innovation was expensive, high stakes and insular. Testing new ideas was difficult and costly, so businesses relied on their managers to guess what to build into a product before launching it in the market. Today, digital technologies enable continuous testing and experimentation, processes that were inconceivable in the past. Prototypes can be built for pennies and ideas tested quickly with user communities. Constant learning and the rapid iteration of products, before and after their launch date, are becoming the norm.

Value - Digital technologies force us to think differently about how we understand and create value for the customer. What customers value can change very quickly. Our competitors may be uncovering new opportunities that our customers value more. All too often, when a business hits upon success in the marketplace, a dangerous complacency sets in. As Andy Grove warned years ago, in the digital age, “only the paranoid survive.” Constantly pushing the envelope to find our next source of customer value is now an imperative.

Figure 1: Five Key Domains of Digital Transformation

 Take care

Jim H

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