Get Integrated to become digital

Gartner says Digital Business Incompetence will cause 25 Percent of Businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017

Shocking yet true as statistics says that more than fifty percent of Fortune 500 companies have vanished into thin air since 2000 till date. So what caused this business apocalypse? Let us take a step back and look at the evolution of business models post the Information Technology and how it shaped and continuing to shape the business ecosystems.
Looking back two decades in terms of the evolution of IT and its impact on business and the society, we need to start from mainframe systems in the early seventies which is limited to Government entities and big banking institutions but then came the mini computer revolution in late 80s that gave birth to two platforms, Windows and Mac OS which in turn propelled the personal computing industry as well as client server technology in the nineties. The PC era which exploded post that made computing technology ubiquitous to all of mankind and it led to capturing of business and personal data for digital access and storage.
But the real impact of this technology got unleashed to full potential with the advent of World Wide Web as well as the mobile communications which ushered in a new era that transformed the way people lived on this planet. The computing power increased exponentially in the scale of thousand applications on mainframe systems to hundred thousand applications over the internet. This led to the democratizing the access to computing power and opening up new possibilities to do more with digital data. The evolution of SMAC which stands for Social media, Mobile Apps, Analytics and Cloud can support million applications and allow billion users to collaborate with ease at any point of time.
The game is clearly changing and the information technology is no more just a means for business storage and automation but clearly an ecosystem for generating more revenue, expand customer base, create new market etc. and leaders across the world are suddenly scrambling to embrace and ride on this tectonic shift called “Digital Business” . On a very basic level what this means for a business is the integration of many business function and processes. If we go one level deeper, then it will be about integrating the organizational policies, practices, systems, processes and structures that are functioning as separate entities or silos. Each of these entities create so much content but they are not available to people or systems outside them which leads to massive loss of knowledge for any business. The pain of losing so much information can easily be felt by empathizing with the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Lew Platt when he uttered this statement “If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three-times more productive”. How to unlock data and information lying in silos across multiple systems which can be used to create value for an enterprise by easing access to master data, transaction data for various stakeholders like customers, vendors, channel partners, employees and how to create an ecosystem that will provide the “Right content at the Right time through the Right channel”?
This should be looked from two different perspectives which are customer engagement and internal business operations. From customer point of view all it means is consistency in delivery and experience and business should understand the context and engage with the customers accordingly. This is a real challenge for marketing, customer service and other customer facing teams and can only be achieved if they all are integrated and speak in one voice. From Business point of view, it is all about understanding the pervasiveness of digital technology among all levels of employees and applying an appropriate Digital Strategy so that multiple entities are connected using integration technologies like EDI, API, MFT etc. This will enable faster innovation, create more agility and provide the enterprise a unified view data across all business entities which will lead to exponential increase in productivity and efficiency. Drubus Technologies offers integration solutions and workflow solutions as a service/on premise which allows businesses to address these challenges.
The Digital strategy is not some implementation of new technology but it is much beyond that and requires total commitment from the business to develop a change management program to connect various business entities, develop expertise in digital business, engage the employees in positive way and finally building a strong bridge between IT and Business. The last point is the major factor as all along IT played a back end role in business but it is required to be in the forefront and lead the way.
To summarize Digital Business is a Holy Trinity of Digital Connectedness, Services and Experiences. The time has come for the leaders to embrace this new business model and convert the threat to opportunity.