“What a business needs most for its decisions – especially strategic ones, is data about what goes on outside it. Only outside a business are there results, opportunities, and threats.”
— Peter Drucker
The pressures of cost, competition, and a more demanding consumer continue to drive the digital transformation of industries. It pays to know how best to invest in the right technology for your sector and business type. While benchmarking exercises have long been essential to business success, digitalization requires that companies remain particularly vigilant, lest they find themselves on the wrong side of a digital divide. Positioning an organization in an era of complexity can create differentiated advantages.
1. Where to Start – Prioritizing Areas for Business Digitalization
Prioritizing areas for digitalization requires a focus on key business drivers – those resources, processes, and conditions that are critical to the growth and success of your company. These are levers in the direct control of the organization. Once the most important drivers have been identified, it’s easier to know who and what to benchmark against and then look at positioning and aligning.
2. Review Organizational and Alternate Ecologies
Organizations need to look at both their organizational ecologies and alternate ecologies. Don’t just look at the biggest and most successful organizations, look at smaller, unique ones as well. Align your business levers with key artifacts in the business ecosystem. By adapting and applying those strategies that can create renovation or reinvention in your business, you have the opportunity to leapfrog the competition and effectively differentiate. Success is something to be proud of and many leading businesses have a process for sharing benchmarking data with those who know what they are looking for – particularly when there is no competitive risk.
3. Focus on Your Product and Service Strategies
There are also plenty of online resources that provide both qualitative and quantitative research and statistics on industry trends. As with any research, it’s important to maintain focus on your key drivers – and to practice discernment when sourcing your information. Focus on your product and service strategies.
4. Identify Your Opportunities
With a good understanding of the drivers that are critical to your company, comparing your performance to competitors and other business leaders can help you to determine your performance gaps. Once identified, those gaps become opportunities for improvement – and the focus of a successful digitalization strategy.
5. Choose Your Digital Partners Carefully
Established digital partners who specialize in your industry are able to offer valuable insights into how technology can be used to make the most of your business opportunities. When it comes to supply chain digitalization, look for a partner that has a clear understanding of your industry, who makes the effort to understand your business, and who shares your vision. This is your best assurance of a holistic, seamless, future-proof solution.