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August 31, 2015
The four levels of digital strategy to consider

(Originally published on the EIU Digital Evolution Blog)

A lot of companies like to think that they’re surfing the digital wave. In reality, for many, digital is more akin to a tidal wave that is undoing everything in its path and forcing organizations to reconstruct business models and operations.

Since many companies have integrated digital in a specific sequential way, they often view their digital activities in silos and are unable to see them as an integrated, cohesive whole. This inability to see the big picture can provide competitors with an entrée to disrupt.

The scope of digital transformation is often more vast than it first appears. Consider the auto industry. On the one hand, digital has ushered in supply-chain improvements like just-in-time manufacturing and new levels of price transparency. On the other hand, digital has changed consumers’ expectations and desires around the very concept of a car. These days, luxury and the driving experience are still important, but buyers usually want connectivity, too. They want Internet access—not just being able to plug your phone in and play Spotify, but full-on connectivity—including vehicle analytics, preventive maintenance and location-based services information.

Add to this the potential emergence of self-driving cars or transportation services like Uber and Lyft, which fundamentally challenge the very idea of vehicle ownership. Clearly, digital transformation changes many assumptions inherent in traditional business models about consumer expectations, the hierarchy of competitors and overall operational efficiency.

This might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, four levels of digital strategy are available for companies to consider when addressing the digital evolution of their industry…

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