While IT can help build capabilities for digital businesses, it is only part of a complex picture, says the analyst firm. The goal is for digital business to become an enterprise mindset and lingua franca, with digital expertise across the organisation.
"CIOs or IT professionals who hear 'digital business' and think 'IT' will be blindsided," says Ken McGee, Gartner vice president.
"Businesses have used information and digital technology for some time as sources of efficiency and productivity," he notes. "However, in a digital business, digital technology for the first time moves into the forefront, into the heart of what the business is doing and how it generates revenue, seizes competitive advantage and produces value.”
How to change the game
In a recent research paper, McGee and Gartner analysts Diane Morello and Lee Weldon list six steps organisations can take to build a successful digital business:
Create the right mindset and a shared understanding among key decision makers: Look for ways to shift the mindset, language and organisation from ‘IT versus the business’ to ‘a shared focus on business value'.
Put the right leaders in place: Identify the digital C-level leaders. Don’t follow fashions or fads, but prioritise and customise the roles that work for your organisation. Review the plan frequently to fill any digital leadership gaps.
Look for ways to shift the mindset, language and organisation from ‘IT versus the business’ to ‘a shared focus on business value'.
Launch a digital business centre of excellence:Work with people from the enterprise and from outside, such as current and potential users, in examining questions and issues.
Create a digital business strategy for a successful response to digital opportunities and threats: It should cover digitally enabled business models; the product and service portfolio; information as an asset; technology; and content, media and channels.
Find, develop or acquire the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills to execute the strategy: Be bold and pursue new approaches to developing, finding, acquiring and recruiting digital business expertise. Tap into global talent ecosystems and identify experts through competitions.
Create new digital business capabilities: Mine informal networks, launch boot camps and other learning programs about digital business. Investigate ‘work mashups’ by applying digital business and technologies to the distribution of work.
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