Achieving Sustainability in Accelerated Change

Patrick Püntener
03.11.17 09:53

Disruption and change are rippling through all sectors of the economy as digital transformation challenges business models designed for a physical world. Organizations that resist the realities of a digital economy will lose share or be completely left behind.

New business models imply new software tools and services. But embracing innovation and cloud-based platforms is a major challenge, leading to a potential loss of control and threats to traditional IT departments and other vital parts of the organization.

Disrupt yourself, before someone else does

In a world where digital startups regularly challenge the status quo, the threat from agile competitors will only accelerate. The pressure becomes even more intense as the digital economy becomes connected, changing how we derive revenues and identify new opportunities for growth.

Every business model, from selling ice cream at the beach to providing digital insurance services based on smart contracts, is composed of three components that work together to deliver a customer-centric experience.

  1. A profit equation based on market growth, value-driven pricing and efficiency
  2. Well established processes with a focus on operational excellence
  3. Human resources, an agile culture and adaptable technology

At the core is a clear selling proposition—preferably one that is unique to your own organization, and that only you can deliver. The most potent selling propositions today are inspired by an empowered customer participating in a connected economy, where both unique needs and relative urgency among buyers and sellers can be easily matched and exchanged over global networks. Such value propositions are fueled by a willingness to focus on the real problem buyers want solved (such as “I need a temporary place to stay” versus “I need a hotel room”).

The people and resources that underlie your selling proposition’s profit equation are your most critical component. Anyone can imagine how a more competitive price coupled with a USP can steal share, but delivering on a vision requires a skillful orchestration of people, technology, facilities and processes. It seems obvious, but ensuring that the right information is available at the speed of business to take action, and a process for solving problems and implementing needed changes quickly are vital for differentiation and sustained leadership.
 

Embracing new and emerging technology

The place where information and processes should come together and be there when needed is wherever your employees work to deliver to your promise. We call this the digital workplace, and it is obvious that you can’t digitally transform all your services towards your customers while your employees still run around with slates. What is less obvious is how to embrace the rapidly evolving technologies and inflationary development of cloud-based tools to shape a meaningful and controllable environment that actually becomes this digital workplace you envision – at least not if you are looking for something sustainable. Many organizations are facing serious shadow IT challenges already today, while direct access to technology is increasing rapidly for business users.

There are only two sources of competitive advantage: the ability to learn more about our customers faster than the competition and the ability to turn that learning into action faster than the competition.
— Jack Welch, General Electric

Keep it simple, couple loosely

At CYCL, we always believed in loosely-coupled, easy to use solutions. And what is the most dramatic learning of today’s digital economy? Products and companies that offer the lowest level of complexity for the maximum amount of value are the ones experiencing the biggest growth and the highest valuations. Yet the belief that complexity is synonymous with sophistication continues to fuel high costs, failed implementations and loss of share.

Deriving value through the reduction of product and service features feels counterintuitive to many, but doing so, we were pleasantly surprised at the results this type of exercise can yield. Translated to this piece of reflection, it means that your digital workplace needs to be a simple, functionally reduced hub with the capability to aggregate and target content across all sources that might be relevant for your organization.

With MatchPoint, we achieve this by loosely coupling a user-facing hub with a multitude of content sources, including all major cloud platforms such as Office365, Google or Salesforce. By delivering personalized content based on the user’s profile and role, as well as enabling users to execute the most vital functions to do their job without having to switch applications, MatchPoint provides controlled self-service, delivering better tools for organizing work and channel communications, while re-establishing governance and control over content, regardless of the platform or service that is used. This is a fundamental pillar in your strategy to deliver a sustainable yet adaptable workplace experience to each and every single user in your organization.

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