Image by: Witthaya Prasongsin, ©2019 Getty Images

As we near the close of the year and look toward 2020, organizations are taking stock of their digital strategies and the interconnected ecosystems that support them to map out new opportunities for evolving their business models of the future.

Chief executive officers don’t seem to be deterred by the ominous four-letter word of risk, though its purview rose considerably from 2018. According to Gartner, the driving forces of growth and innovation remained at the top of the CEO agenda in 2019, with 53% of senior executives surveyed pointing to growth as a top priority and 82% reporting they already have a digital transformation initiative underway to speed up new products and revenue-producing channels for the digital business.

While organizations are looking toward digital innovation for growth margins in economic uncertainty, it will take the right business and operating models, especially those that are focused on tactical performance, to take advantage of these evolving ecosystems. According to Gartner Vice President of Research Marcus Blosch, meeting the demands of digital innovation will require enterprises to:
  • Find the right business model
  • Adopt a platform-based approach that leverages cloud and mobile delivery
  • Deploy a concerted effort to treat information as an asset
  • Apply design thinking principles to digital product management
To capture the full promise of digital innovation, Gartner outlines five priorities to keep in mind as you continue to build out your digital strategies in 2020 and beyond.

1. Evolving the Business Ecosystem

The arrival of digital innovations has altered the landscape of the business ecosystem. Once considered a linear process—from input to process to output—the dynamic connections between organizations and people have limitless possibilities, changing at a rapid clip and informed by the insights that are fed by analytics.

2. Building Innovative Business Models

As the business ecosystem adapts and evolves, it will allow organizations to offer new services and experiences for their customers. Gartner pins the genesis of new operating models, which will be required to meet new customer wants, on the use of distributed ecosystems, with technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the number of enterprises implementing AI applications tripled in the past year, according to a recent Gartner survey.

3. Designing Innovative Services and Experiences

Anticipating customer needs and then building out innovative services that simultaneously fills a gap in the experience while creating a value proposition that is distinct from your competitors will require a shift in mindset for enterprise architects. With 63% of CEOs planning to change their business models in the next two years, we can expect an increased focus on human-centric design as well as the changing lens of project management to transform into product management.

4. Building Out the Technology Platform

Digital heavyweights, like Amazon and Alibaba, have demonstrated how innovation and disruption can help to conquer completely new markets. Their dominance is largely attributed to modern business models that are founded upon the digital platform. These platforms allow companies to connect with customers and partners in dynamic ways at a massive scale, often through cloud-based and mobile delivery channels as well as the Internet of things. We now understand that platform-based architectures are at the heart of digital strategies.

5. Unleashing the Power of Information

While this is an old refrain for information managers and practitioners, executives are finally starting to understand that information is the organization’s most valuable asset. We cannot leverage all the potential that comes with big data, analytics, machine learning, and AI without it. Armed with new intelligence, an organization’s information will feed the evolution of new business models, services, and experiences. It will also orchestrate the evolving business ecosystems in the enterprise and the dynamic connections born from this intelligence.

Allison Lloyd serves as the Editor of DOCUMENT Strategy Media. She delivers thought leadership on strategic and plan-based solutions for managing the entire document, communication, and information process. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonYLloyd.
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