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What’s the right approach to digital?

More than 90% of global business executives believe digital will disrupt their business in the next 12 months and nearly three-quarters of them say they are taking action with a digital strategy, said a new Forrester study titled “The Future of Business Is Digital.”

However, only a third of the executives surveyed believe that their approach to digital is correct and just 21% believe that the right people are in place to set the strategy.

Employees cited organisational inertia and functional barriers as the primary obstacles to delivering on their digital strategies. Two-thirds of employees believe functional departments are too fixed in their ways, and 68% of business-unit leaders believe the teams in their companies act as barriers to effective coordination.

The organisational structures, processes, and ways of working that have proven so successful in the past are now your firm’s greatest enemies in its race to embrace digital technology. According to Forrester, businesses are in dire need of a holistic reset.

“CMOs cannot just think of digital as a mobile app or a bolt-on to legacy models. Instead, the transformation starts by accepting that your business is just one among an entire ecosystem of partners,” said the study.

Becoming a digital business

In order to truly become a digital business, the study suggested CMOs learn to accept that their business is just one among an entire ecosystem of partner- each building apps and sites to create a menu of tools and services for the customer to choose from at the moment of need.

This new world is what Forrester calls a “dynamic ecosystem of value”. A dynamic ecosystem of value is made up of digitally connected products and services that combine to meet customer needs, delivering more value than the sum of their parts.

This shift from linear value chain to the creation of ecosystems, mean coming up with a system of businesses sharing data and services.

Forrester fielded the survey from November 2013 to January 2014. The survey was fielded
only in English. Among the respondents, 38% work in North America, 53% work in Europe, and
9% work in the rest of the world. There were 1,591 respondents.

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