Great Business in the Digital Age

How Can Technology and Digital Accelerate Business Growth?

Technology has transformed industries and economies across every continent. Society has become more connected and more technology enabled with digital at the centre of day-to-day personal and business life, enabling new and more efficient ways of doing things.

To succeed in the digital age businesses need to adapt to the new behaviours of their customers and their partners by adopting a new operational model that infuses digital and technology capabilities across all areas of the business.

These capabilities can be categorised across 8 dimensions.

8 dimensions of a great business in the digital age

For each dimension, a target maturity level can be defined which provides a clear vision of what the business needs to look like. These can then be used to inform strategic goals and initiatives or as guidance when assessing the merits or otherwise of investing in a business as part of a due diligence process.

The maturity definitions will change, as technology and digital evolves and influences society. From our experience, our latest definitions of great for each dimension are as follows.

Digital Strategy and Awareness

The business focuses on infusing digital across all areas of the business rather than developing a digital strategy. Digital is intertwined with the business strategy and the executive board are fully aware of the never-ending threats from digital. They constantly scan the landscape beyond their business and sector for ideas, technologies and acquisition opportunities. They are always looking at their own business model and processes to reinvent and disrupt themselves funding innovation and experiments that could create value, reduce cost or create new operating models. They are able to operate faster than their competitors, from reviewing and adapting their strategies to real-time decision making and continuous delivery of value their customers.

Organisation, People and Skills

The organisation is structured into distributed and decentralised teams that are aligned to customer outcomes. Employees are empowered with purpose, autonomy and mastery at the core. They are able to react quickly to digital and technology threats and opportunities with the leadership, culture and skills in place. Third party partnerships are orchestrated to deliver complementary and value-adding offers to the business with clear performance objectives.

Digital Products and Services

Customer experiences are fully integrated across online and offline channels, highly automated and emotionally personalised. Customer journeys have been re-engineered to prioritise online, are intuitive and responsive, and offer differentiated and compelling experiences to enterprise clients. All channels can be managed by any authorised user regardless of device and technical knowledge, with well defined workflows, audit logs and security to enable expedited changes in a controlled manner.

Customer Lifecycle Management

Digital is a central point for all activities. The business views the customer journey as a flywheel, there is no beginning or end to a customer’s journey and relationship, and that the traditional funnel metaphor is dead. They understand that it costs less to retain a customer than acquire a new one and focus their investments on retention and reducing churn rather than acquiring customers. As such Marketing, Sales and Support are aligned to a cyclical flywheel view rather than a traditional top-down funnel that ultimately creates strong customer advocates that drives down Customer Acquisition Costs and increases Lifetime Customer Value.

Marketing is aligned to business outcomes, sales media is optimised for customer and brand value and automation is everywhere. KPIs and ROI metrics are in place to understand customer segments across multiple joined up channels. Campaign management and reporting are automated with experimentation to increase qualification and conversion. Media is fully optimised based on attribution, retargetting and personalisation is optimised across touchpoints with machine learning, pricing is dynamic.

Sales enablement software provides a repository for marketing collateral and sales playbooks.

Customer success software provides a unified view of all customer data pulled from a variety of applications to spot customers requiring attention and identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities and customer advocates.

Data, Analytics and Insights

The executive board prioritises a data-driven culture and vision over technologies and tools. A strong analytics function has been established in-house and real-time analytics are integrated into business operations to process historical and current data, act on customer insights and propose the next best actions to deliver the next best experience to customers. Advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, offer new ways to address growing challenges such as fraud, process inefficiencies and predictability. Formal metrics are in place to guide investments and financial performance. A strong cross-functional team is in place with data scientists and business analysts that leverage a suite of technologies, tools and service providers.

Product Management and Software Development

Strategy, processes, people, and technology for delivering digital products and software have been shifted to a new operating model. Culture, ways of working, and leadership are centred around organisational agility, automation and knowledge sharing to remove toil, deploy everything-as-code and implement measurements for speed and stability. A product-centric approach is in place with a focus on outcomes that create value for customers. This is complemented with an operating framework that provides product delivery guidance rather than a mandated methodology. Software is developed following a DevOps culture that unifies people, process and tools to enable iterative, incremental and continuous automated delivery of rapid and frequent value to customers and partners.

Technology Applications, Infrastructure and Architecture

Technology is seen as a key enabler and driver to business growth allowing the business as a whole to be faster and more flexible than their competitors. Automation and modular ‘as-a-service’ components are core to the technology landscape enabling current and future business demands to be met in a secure, scalable and cost-efficient way and allow learn-fast experiments to create a competitive advantage.

Applications are designed and developed to take advantage of cloud technologies and are decomposed and decoupled into small manageable components that are easy to extend and manage in isolation. An appropriate application architecture design pattern has been chosen that provides efficient communications, consistent state and overarching management, governance and monitoring.

Comprehensive and automated operational monitoring is in place that proactively surfaces potential issues and identifies root causes. A risk-based approach to cybersecurity is adopted that allows the business to apply the right level of control to the relevant areas of potential risk, resulting in more economical and effective approach.

Business Operations

Internal functions are digitised and ways of working are continually assessed to reinvent processes and replace repeatable manual processes with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Advanced analytics have been applied throughout the business to create value such as stock inventory optimisation, pinpointing highly qualified candidates for specific roles and simulated factory planning. Employees are empowered with easy-to-use and intuitive services underpinned with optimised ways of working. Business applications and tools can be created by citizen developers using interfaces, services and technologies that have been approved or exposed by internal technology teams.

At Momentum we can help if you need to accelerate your digital or technology strategy, or need to understand your current level of maturity as part of technology or digital due diligence.

Contact us for a confidential conversation.
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