The digital rule book: Choose your digital path & embrace analytics

Posted on: June 1, 2016 by Jean-Christophe Spilmont

In this series on business reinvention, I’ve been exploring the golden rules of the digital rulebook, discussing how companies can change corporate culture, transform their business models and embrace change. In this final part, I look at how organizations can position themselves for this shift and embrace new technologies such as analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

Rule number 4: Choosing the right positioning

Ultimately, digital transforms value chains and creates novel ecosystems. It's therefore essential that you understand how best to position your organization in a constantly changing digital landscape.

So, which are the best paths to success?

It's difficult to give a definitive view in a new and yet undiscovered digital country that pioneers are still exploring acre after acre. The map is perpetually changing. Yet, two dimensions stand out right now from this terra incognita: customer ownership in a world moving from product centricity to customer centricity and ecosystem openness in an open world where ecosystem mastery is essential.

Where are you today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? Your choices may be shaped, yet your competitive strategy and focus will vary significantly, depending on the choice you make.

It's hardly surprising that today's most attractive position – the one strived for by all leaders – is the ecosystem driver, which serves as the platform for entire ecosystems. This position requires strong Business Reinvention strategies for both acquiring customers and attracting innovation partners.

But others models may also be of interest too. You may decide to remain a silo supplier and continue to play the commodity or niche value game. Or you might successfully position yourself as a modular producer and primarily play the Operational Excellence game. Or perhaps you would prefer to choose the omni-channel game, focusing on Customer Experience.

Whether your primary focus is on reinventing your business model, fostering Customer Experience or growing Operational Excellence, building Trust and ensuring Compliance will be mandatory – in every case. Furthermore, all four of these challenges must be met simultaneously for digital success, but some have more strategic weight than others depending on the position you target.

So, your choice of position will determine which of the challenges you have to face is most strategic alongside which strategic investments you must make.

Rule number 5: Constantly adapting with analytics and Artificial Intelligence solutions

Last, but not least, digital has led us to a world where competitive positions may move at any time, where today's winner could be displaced within just a few months and where tomorrow’s innovators may themselves be replaced even more rapidly. In a nutshell: we’re entering an age of perpetual reinvention.

Companies must play a continual game of internal R&D and start-up acquisitions just to maintain their pace in a fast-moving world. We see it every day with the traditional industry players as much as with the technology giants. Remember the billions spent on the Instagram, WhatsApp and Nest acquisitions?

So, how do you succeed in this unstable world?

The answer lies in maintaining a constant focus on two strategic axes:

  • Perpetually reconnecting with end customers and fully rearticulating the value chain around their expectations through customer-focused strategic thinking
  • Constantly generating additional value by making others work for you, leveraging not only social and peer-to-peer from end-users, but also supporting the development of partner ecosystems through collaborative innovation platforms.

Analytics is the missing link that will enable this constant reinvention.

Because digital is a fully quantified world, it can measure customer feedback, process states and behaviors by connecting people, process and things.

The advantage? It’s not only tracking everything simply to deliver a better Customer Experience and improve Operational Excellence, but also to identify the weak signals that announce emerging trends and opportunities for Business Reinvention. In essence, we’re entering a data-driven world where the winners will be those who succeed in turning this data into the intelligence that allows them to reinvent their business models.

The future may be uncertain, but one thing is clear: analytics, insight technologies and robotics will be among the core technologies that will make the difference, as our CxO Agenda and Tech Trends radar show.

Welcome to the world of reinvention intelligence!

To read the full series of the digital rule book, here are the first and second posts in the series.

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About Jean-Christophe Spilmont
Head of Strategy & Portfolio at Atos Big Data & Security service line and member of the Scientific Community
Jean-Christophe Spilmont is head of Strategy & Portfolio at Atos Big Data & Security service line, and thought leader in Digital Transformation at Atos Global Marketing. Over the past years, he helped Group Bull accelerate innovation and growth in Digital, as global head of Market Intelligence and global head of Strategic Marketing Programs, notably around vertical usages (Industry 4.0, Digital Finance, Smart Government…) and core enabling technologies (IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Security,…). Prior to this, he held several management position as Communications & Sales Enablement Director of Evidian, Marketing Manager of Bull France Digital activities and consultant at Integris. He also co-founded the Open World Forum, the premier European Event in Open Source innovation. Jean-Christophe Spilmont is an ESSEC and ENSAIA/INPL Alumnus.