Wednesday 8 February 2023

Business Model Shift

Successful new businesses generally start with a digital mindset, however established businesses do not have this luxury. Established organisations must shift to a digital model, they must transform what they already have for a digital age. This is no easy feat, established organisations can have years if not decades of business model evolution entrenched in the analogue age. Transitioning a business that was founded in the 1960s to a digital age can seem like a daunting task, but as we say in agile:

Which is the exact approach we take to evolve an existing business model, one step at a time. Digital transformation is more than simply deploying one or several digital solutions and expecting them to work cohesively, resulting in them being adopted by employees and customer alike. We make sound, reasoned, and evidence based decisions for the future digital transformation of an organisation.

There a four high level general steps to help guide a digital transformation of an existing organisation:

  1. Focus: Stay focused on the digital model, it is easy to be sold on a technical silver bullet, there are hundreds of companies consulting as well as vender who will tell you, just implement Sharepoint, implement Drupel, Slack, Teams, any number of digital platforms, however they may or may not be part of your digital answer. Before rolling out, or implementing anything, you must first focus on evolving your business model, then once you have a vision of where you want to shift your business model to, only then should an organisation adjust business process to accommodate it. 

    As an organisation begins to review their business model, they will rethink their economical model potentially discovering new revenue streams within existing offerings. They can reconsider value propositions at their base level, unbundling and reconfiguring them for a digital age. The business may change its customer relationships, external partners as well as channels.

  2. Prioritise: focus on one component at a time, it may be a product, process, platform or customer experience, it may be difficult to choose just one, however focusing your efforts on one component, will not only let your employees and organisation get use to the change gradually, it
    will keep the transformation manageable and not focused.

    There is no universal way of choosing what is right for your organisation, it depends, on a number of variables, it might make sense to start with the lowest hanging fruit, it may make sense to approach the component that will produce the greatest impact to your employees or maybe for your customers, whatever it will be, it will likely be unique to your organisation. The chooses of priority well most likely be based on your organisations most pressing needs, coupled with the proposed evolution of your business model. 

  3. Start with Culture and People: Technology is merely a tool, true organisational transformation begins and ends with people, hence transforming an organisation culture is the responsibility of people. If the people who make up your organisation do not adopt the its transformation, it will fail. This is why change management must be a key player in any digital transformation, large or small.

    Digital transformation is an operational process, as technology and our society evolves, a business must keep pace with these changes, as one business component is transformed the marketplace has a way of evolving. To stay relevant and keep up with the constant marketplace shifts an organisation should priorities the following.
    - What customers want: if customers do not get what they want, they'll move on
    - What employees need: just like customers, if employees do not get what they need, they will also move on.
    - A culture that will support the two: an organisation must adopt a culture that provides employees what they need so that they can provide customers with what they want.

  4. Technology: In todays digital age, employees as well as customers must have the technological channels to support what they need and what they want. Employees need to have the technological support to help them provide customers with what they want. Technological assistance should be considered in every aspect of a business model, how can we use technology to help employees do more with less, help them focus on value added creative work.

    Technology needs to support employees in:
    - Collaboration: making working together seamless and simple, supporting work from anywhere with the same simplicity as if the entire team was in the same room.
    - Communication
    - Products and services to supply customers with what they want and need  
Companies can use their internal IT department for day-to-day operations and maintenance, but for digital transformation initiatives that require specialized skills or technologies, they may choose to leverage external partnerships. These partnerships can bring in new perspectives and expertise to help drive the company's digital transformation efforts forward, resulting in increased competitiveness and business growth.