Going digital is not a choice anymore. The disruptive landscape in their respective industries is forcing enterprises to use digital technologies for connecting and driving people and processes. Today they need a new language of business to cope with the digital disruption. But the problem is that a lot is being talked about the emerging technologies like analytics, mobility, cloud, artificial intelligence, bots etc. yet a concerted business discourse is missing.
Our search for the Gems of Digital Enterprise is on and initial learning from those we are conversing with is helping us identify the essential elements for building the new business discourse. Without a different business discourse, it will not be possible to build a growth strategy that may enable a business to compete and win amid disruption.
Amid widespread disruption, enterprises are struggling to devise strategies to grow profitably. In their attempt to do so, digital is often used as an enabler, yet the focus remains largely disconcerted, technology oriented and tactical. Coeus Age Consulting’s research suggests that 80% + of the enterprises see profitable growth as the biggest challenge in 2017. 45% of the enterprises are wanting a strategic overhaul of their organization to defend their positions, whereas another 10% are wanting to disrupt the value chain in their industry. Yet a clear majority suggest that their preparation is not adequate to transform and disrupt to grow profitably. They want a concerted business discourse weaving digital that would enable them to create a new growth strategy. At Coeus Age Consulting, we are working relentlessly towards building the new discourse.
We have identified four essential sides of an enterprise that must form part of the new business discourse (and the new growth strategy). These are the efficient, intelligent, engaging, and agile enterprise (Figure 1). Let’s briefly describe each of these four sides.
The efficient enterprise focuses on making the processes efficient to the extent that it helps the business to contain costs to safeguard profits in the wake of price pressures. Efficiency as a broad based organizational initiative is a must to counter the highly efficient asset light business models emerging as disruptors. Automating the processes, integrating them together, connecting people with processes and tools, embedding business policy as software driven rules deliver efficiency. This is mainly achieved by the enterprise wide applications (read ERP) and digital extensions (on mobile devices).
The intelligent enterprise strives to exploit vast amount of transactional data that reside in the enterprise databases, often underutilized. Management dashboards, process metrics monitoring, sensor based data collection and analysis, big data analytics are the options an enterprise has to convert data into actionable insights. E.g. a manufacturing organization takes direct sensor based feed of customers’ use of its products at the showrooms into its product development process. Another organization in the media space displays post wise analysis for the editors to consume. The technologies to collect, prepare and analyse data becomes relevant for this side of an enterprise.
The engaging enterprise aims at delivering an experience to the customers, employees and other stakeholders (like the suppliers). A well thought out, simple and effective, and holistic process of engagement can be enabled by digital by leveraging automation, intelligence and rendering on a mobile device. E.g. a customer can not only find out the AC servicing agency on a household services aggregation platform, she can even book and pay for it. She has the power to decide on when the servicing agent will come. Similarly, an employee can now use a self-service portal to check leaves, apply for vacation and book cabs for field visits. The way the entire process rolls out determines the experience it delivers.
The agile enterprise leverages a digitally connected supply chain and can quickly enable a business or policy decision. I know of an organization where any marketing channel scheme can be rolled out digitally within 6 hours. The entire process of scheme implementation from claim to settlement has been automated for a speed. The agile enterprise is puts change at the center of organizing.
Needless to say that along with technology enablement, the four sides of an enterprise need commensurate development on the culture and practices side. The enterprises must invoke these four sides in alignment with their business strategy. That’s a conscious call to be taken by the leadership.
The leadership in today’s enterprises must ask themselves, which of these four sides of the enterprise are being addressed? How are these aligned with the broader business strategy of the organization? The four sides of the enterprise shall collectively define the operational blue print that connects the strategy and the digital initiatives.
We extend our digital strategy model by further integrating the Operational Blue Print between the Growth Strategy and the Digital Initiatives (figure 2).
We are in discussions with leaders in many organizations and are helping them build a customized Growth Strategy for their respective organizations. We would be keen to come and discuss it with you too. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91 9811771187.