Digital transformation has become a top business priority, with many companies across industries focused on transforming their systems, business models and customer engagement to ensure e-business processes create value for the organization.
This makes carving out an effective enterprise digital strategy paramount to success. But, too often, organizations focus on the technological aspects of the transformation and ignore the business side of the equation, according to speakers at the recent LiveWorx 2018 conference in Boston. When building an enterprise digital strategy, organizations should start by looking at the fundamental business problems its leaders want to solve, and then move on to exploring how they can use technology to solve them, according to LiveWorx speaker Sarah Peach, senior director of business development at Samsung Electronics.
If they start with experimenting with the capabilities of a technology, they might end up with something that works, but is of no value to their business, Peach explained during her session, titled "The Next Frontier for Digital Businesses."
"Starting with the business problem -- which then dictates the application and the technologies that you want to use to support that -- is the approach that successful companies are taking," she said.
Co-panelist Anand Krishnan said an enterprise digital strategy should be bucketed into three broad areas -- products, platforms and partnerships -- to help develop comprehensive use cases that benefit customers.
"Everyone is looking at digital touchpoints, but [should] set the focus on the journey itself, which is very important," said Krishnan, vice president of big data and AI at Harman Connected Services.
An enterprise digital strategy has to also meet the needs of the organization's overall business strategy, said Jeffrey Miller, vice president of customer success and advisory services at PTC, based in Needham, Mass.
"You cannot produce a digital strategy without understanding your business strategy," Miller said during his session, titled "Digital Transformation: Creating a Pragmatic Vision and Strategy."
In order to move their digital transformation program forward, organizations should couple business strategy with its goals for innovation and its digital strategy, then design use cases that create value for the business, he said.
The evolving enterprise digital strategy in an IoT era
Jeffrey Millervice president of customer success and advisory services at PTC
As companies deal with increasing numbers of connected systems, products and people, their enterprise digital strategy should address how to bring these areas together to meet one of two primary business objectives, said Ranjeet Khanna, a co-panelist of Peach and Krishnan.
"Either create efficiencies for the use cases that they are dealing with, or create a new revenue opportunity," said Khanna, director of product management for IoT, public key infrastructure and embedded security solutions at Entrust Datacard, based in Shakopee, Minn.
Designing connected products is not just about incorporating mechanical and physical design anymore; manufacturers have to now worry about software design, Peach said. The manufacturing industry has, therefore, witnessed a rapid evolution in their digital strategy in the last couple of years, she added.
According to a recent Capgemini study, manufacturers estimate 47% of all their products will be smart and connected by 2020.
"If you are an OEM, you are now expected to produce a smart, connected product, and all of your digital systems have to change to support that," Peach said.
The data generated from connected products throughout their lifecycle is another big change that manufacturers deal with today, she said.
"Your digital strategy has to start at the design side and follow all the way through to the end of life of your product," she said.