The onset of the digital age has set into motion one of the biggest disruptive forces in the history of commerce since the Industrial Revolution. This digital disruption will create winners and losers, and a divide within industry will develop. Winners will include those companies that are able to make faster, better decisions based on digital business insights.
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Each day 2.5 exabytes of data—the equivalent of 2.5 billion filing cabinets of data—is created globally. This staggering amount is forecasted to double every 40 months. All of this data and businesses getting real-time connections provide the opportunity not just to gather insight to make smart business decisions, but to turn those decisions into actions in real time, in the real world.
The growth of intelligent capabilities is disrupting current operations on a massive scale. Digital tools empower workers to perform their jobs with greater efficiency, productivity and safety. These tools can be used to strengthen relationships with suppliers and customers, create appealing experiences for customers, improve efficiency, enhance agility to adapt to changing market conditions and leapfrog competitors.
While it is still early in the initial big wave, the leaders see the full scope of opportunity ahead. They will leverage vast resources and capital, not only to react to technology disruption, but also to embrace and interweave digital technologies to drive the disruptions themselves—to their advantage.
Achievement of these potential benefits, however, relies on the way the technology is being implemented and managed. Digital tools and solutions frequently require new ways of working, and that in turn requires a business-oriented approach to implementation—one that takes into account the people, processes and strategies involved, as well as technology itself.
This kind of business transformation requires a disciplined, systematic approach. The seven phases discussed in this paper provide a framework for approaching these efforts in a comprehensive, well-coordinated way. This framework will help companies be in a better position to sustain digitally-powered improvements and pursue high performance.