Overcoming five obstacles
To date, few companies are setting up digital business models consistently or following a structured digitization plan. Some of the successful Top500 companies choose to deploy their digital strategies over time, continuously modernizing and digitizing their internal processes and infrastructures.
Companies need to understand that new digital business models can only reach maturity if their digital strategies consistently take the end customer’s viewpoint into consideration. Those that consider both the internal processes and the customer experiences – and digitize them in a structured way – can truly claim to be digital companies. However, many companies still have to overcome several obstacles before this will happen. Accenture has identified the five most important ones.
1. Simply start; do not over-plan!
There is nothing mystical about digitization. A master plan for everybody does not exist. Every company has to find its own digital path – and that path should lead to the customer. There are numerous starting points. In Germany, companies primarily digitize their internal processes. In the United States, companies concentrate on the development of new customer-focused business models. Both approaches can help companies become a digital player.
2. Rediscover the customer and optimize his or her experience!
Improving efficiency is a good thing, but optimizing the customer experience is even better. Germany’s Top500 have to learn what the Internet companies from Silicon Valley have demonstrated: Digital technologies provide completely new opportunities to not only understand what customers want, but also to satisfy their needs.
3. Do not be afraid of data!
People say that data is this century’s raw material. And raw materials are valuable. Companies have to handle them efficiently, and learn to work with them on a broad scale. It is important for the Top500 to seek out new opportunities for harvesting data. However, at the same time, data is only valuable when companies can analyze and understand it. Experts in this field, like data scientists, are in high demand in the digital age.
4. Increase efficiency, reduce complexity!
The new competitors of the Top500 are companies that don’t need to digitize. That’s because they are emerging now and have never known anything other than digital infrastructures and business models. They are disruptors and have the ability to grow enormously. If the Top500 companies want to meet the challenge these new entrants present, they have to eliminate complexity from their processes and streamline and digitize their structures.
5. Identify new competitors and new markets!
The Top500m need "radar" that will allow them to identify new competitors as soon as possible. Such competitors are suddenly stepping out of the fog and conquering markets with disruptive business models. The more quickly established companies can recognize the threats, the greater their chances of successfully defending their market positions. On the other hand, new markets might also appear on the horizon and out of the blue when companies digitize their existing product portfolios. Incubators and accelerators designed with a start-up mentality may fulfil this "radar" function.