Business as we know it is changing. The next generation of market-leading organisations is already digitising their enterprise model with new capabilities enabled by social and digital technologies. For example USAA, a leading banking and insurance company in the USA, leads in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index in part through the adoption of an enterprise-wide customer experience focus leveraging digital technologies.
But many of today's social and mobile technology initiatives fall well short of their transformational potential. To avoid this trap, smart business and technology leaders are rethinking business strategy to create a "digital business strategy" — moving beyond linear, process-driven organisations to create new, dynamic, networked businesses which focus on improving the customer experience.
These new digital businesses have the ability to leverage digital technologies to transform the customer value equation and drive competitive advantage. They are capable of empowering and connecting people in new ways to create value in the marketplace. Digital businesses change the competition and set new standards for how companies, governments, and nonprofits deliver value.
Social and mobile technologies are now part of mainstream business. Mobile access to information is ubiquitous. Efficiently connecting employees around the office and around the world is quickly becoming table stakes for effective business. Leading-edge companies are demonstrating the business impact of harnessing effective collaboration — and they're changing the competitive landscape. At the same time, consumers have unprecedented influence over businesses and governments. Consider the Arab Spring and the role of collaborative communications to topple governments, or the ability of unhappy customers to use social media to cause Netflix to reverse its business strategy —to survive, your business must learn to harness the power of digital technologies.
CIOs have a critical role in providing technology and planning leadership for digital business strategy. Many CIOs are already supporting mobile and collaboration initiatives, and a few have even taken on the evangelism of customer engagement by creating digital business teams. But too few are partnering with the chief marketing officer (CMO) on customer-facing initiatives. Too often CIOs and IT teams are not working in partnership with groups implementing mobile and social technologies across the organisation, resulting in islands of digital technologies. And while all social and mobile initiatives seek to tap into the power of digital technologies to transform the enterprise, very few will achieve their full potential without enterprise-wide leadership.
Today’s CIOs have a unique opportunity to help create a unified digital business strategy by coordinating the social and mobile initiatives in their organisations. A unified plan is essential because isolated digital initiatives in the organisation result in lost opportunities through untapped data, the inability to scale to support the business needs, and sub-optimal customer experiences. Not having a unified digital strategy can also lead to failure to comply with regulations, increased risk of a security breach, and increased costs to the organization.
To avoid islands of digital technology, CIOs need to rethink the enterprise as a digital ecosystem. In this ecosystem, you design all the elements of social, collaboration and mobile to be part of an interconnected network of systems of engagement.
Design Your Social Ecosystem To Create Systems Of Engagement