Blog Archives

Digital can’t replace a bad business model

Investment in digital won’t make up a for a bad business model. That was the third finding from my analysis of digital leadership among UK companies (and the odd US one too). Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Accelerating digital change

Do you wish your business could change faster? This week’s post is a link out to an article I published last week with SmartInsights. It focuses on academic – although very practical – work by John Kotter on how businesses are accelerating their change processes. Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Digital strategy is not business strategy

City sky line - business vs digital strategy
In business we operate in a world of lose definitions. Strategy is a word that often finds itself contorted to fit different meanings and circumstances. I’m personally a fan of Michael Porter’s definition that strategy should 1, define a value proposition, 2, determine what a business is not going to do, and then 3, align the company with the value proposition. Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Playing to where the puck will be – digital strategy for tomorrow

When setting a plan or strategy in place, what is our target time-frame for delivery? One year perhaps? Maybe three? If the time-frame is set what is the objective of strategy. Importantly does that objective align with your customer’s expectations and competitor’s capabilities in that time-frame. Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Digital Value Chains

Digital transformation improves customer experience and business operations. It also supports the deployment of new business models that were previously too costly or technically infeasible. Porter’s Value Chain provides a framework opportunity to explore new opportunities for digital transformation in a business.

The Value Chain separates business activities across primary and supporting activities. Primary activities are those that relate to the manufacture, marketing, sales and support of a product or service. Support activities, do as the label implies, they support the primary activities. A great example is Human Resources supporting the staff working on the help desk.

The Digital Value Chain

Digital effect on the value chain

Digitisation can work across both the primary activities and the supporting ones. For instance the primary activities can be connected end-to-end through digital to speed up the transition from sales to manufacturing. Dell were once the leaders in this space, enabling customers to customise design their systems via the website. Similarly, Uber are using digital to provide an immediately link the customer with the driver

Vertically, digital can serve to improve efficiency but also to better connect supporting activities with primary ones. For instance internal micro-blogging can give HR and Accounting visibility of new project wins or spikes in workload that may have a downstream effect.

Creating the Digital Value Chain

Creating a digital value chain first requires a mapping of the business process as the customer sees it. Typically this process should look messy as you identify the different touch-points, departments and people the customer goes through.

When mapping this out, I will personally look at what information is being provided or uploaded by the customer. With the interaction mapped out redraw the process as a hard system relating to the stages a customer goes through. With this drawn out, it’s easy to create the primary activities list for the value chain. From these primary activities one can quickly draw out the supporting activities that are required throughout each stage of the chain.

Some strategic questions that can then be asked:

  • How would the primary activities run without human support? Can they be automated?
  • Where are the customer moments of truth? What can be done to replicate this experience online or using a mobile device?
  • How does information transfer between the primary activities and supporting activities? How can digital make this more efficient?
  • What would the experience look like as an iPhone app? What would it be like if email was banned?

Digital Strategy Series

For more on digital strategy you should read these other posts from the series:

Posted in Strategy

46 Shades of Digital

With the ever increasing focus on digital there is a new vocabulary developing. The following 46 digital phrases have sprung up in research papers and blog posts: Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Three Important Statistics on the State of Digital Strategy in 2014

The results of Forrester’s State of Digital Business 2014 survey are in. Although 74% of business have a digital strategy, execution remains a major concern. CEOs within mid-large sized businesses are also failing to assess the digital threat/opportunity and create a compelling digital vision. Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Accelerating through digital

John B Kotter has researched and developed a set of principles that can be used by companies to accelerate change delivery. At the heart of the theory is the concept of a second operating model powered by volunteers from across business teams. Lightweight, networked and focussed, this team can deliver business change at a far greater pace than the traditional slow footed organisation. As part of the digital strategy series I want to explore digital’s power to drive acceleration.

Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Digital Nervous Systems in 2014

With the scalable power of cloud computing and the capabilities of Big Data, we are closer than ever to having the kind of Digital Nervous System that Bill Gates described in his 1999 book Business at the Speed of Thought. Read more ›

Posted in Strategy

Top five channels that must be in your multichannel strategy

Having 126 channels to choose from gives marketers a real challenge when it comes to selecting which channels to select. Each channel has unique attributes that will determine its value to the customer and therefore your business. Based on my analysis of these 126 channels there are five channels that must be considered.
Read more ›

Posted in All Channels, Strategy
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