Digital Business Provides New Methods for Engaging with Customers
By Amy Townsend
Supporting digital business presents exciting opportunities for organizations to create new business models, find new ways to engage with their partners and customers, and generate new business growth by leveraging emerging technologies.
Digital business refers to a business model or models that are specifically designed to enable organizations to proactively reach, serve, and support their customers and partners from their contextual perspective (i.e., their personal, physical, and virtual context). What does that mean-from their contextual perspective? It means that your business model should take an outside-in approach; you should put yourself in the chair of your current and potential customers and design your business with them in mind.
The traditional customer engagement approach is primarily focused on “how do we bring our customers and partners into our world?” and “how do we engage customers using our business processes, our information, and our transactions?”. This approach is commonly referred to as the “customer journey”.
Digital business is about staying true to the context of customer needs.
Digital business is a technology-enabled business model.
Digital business is not a technology-only change.
It is using these technologies as a catalyst for business model changes.
In order to be successful, CEOs, CDOs, and other business leaders responsible for digital business must first change their culture and thinking—then their business operations, technology, and execution—to successfully become a digital business.
What is a Digital Business Platform?
A digital business platform (DBP) is a highly dynamic integration hub that coordinates goal-directed work and supports interactions between people, software, and machines in a most intelligent manner.
To support digital business, organizations are looking to digital platforms to integrate many of the emerging technologies (IoT devices, analytics, apps, etc.) and data sources needed to enable new business models. Digital business platforms make it much easier to seamlessly develop products, and particularly, cloud-based services.
A DBP may be an on-prem product and/or a cloud-based service.
There are several key features that differentiate DBPs from other platforms. These include:
1. Capabilities to integrate new and existing applications, data, and devices needed to support the enterprise.
2. The ability to serve customers and partners from their contextual perspective (physical and virtual context).
3. Inherent masking of the complexity of interconnecting the components that comprise the DBP.
To support integration with emerging technologies (IoT devices, analytics, apps, etc.), DBPs must be open development platforms that support:
- Integration and low code development, including data integration and management capabilities and RPA.
- Work/process management (all styles of work and processes).
- Analytic and cognitive capabilities, including machine learning, deep learning, cognitive, pattern matching, and predictive capabilities.
- Internet of Things management (IoT).
- Administration and behaviors, including security and system administration.
- Business model and solution design consulting and advisory services.
4 Key Trends Influencing the DBP Market
1. COVID-19 pandemic drives a dramatic shift to remote work
The global pandemic has transformed the way we work and the way that workplaces are organized. The shift to remote work has opened an opportunity for enterprises to work towards becoming a digital business by adapting their business processes, and by meeting their customers in the new virtual contextual perspective.
2. The dramatic increase of information
With the world turning digital, there is a dramatic increase of data sources that can be analyzed and help drive business transformation. Intelligent analytics will transform business as enterprises pursue new ways to drive insights from data.
3. Increased focus on customer context-driven experience and engagement
Context-driven customer experience is now the new normal and expected from enterprises that want to meet their customers’ needs. As the static web development models of the past are abandoned for more rich, dynamic user experiences that leverage AI to adapt to customer context, the digital business platform market will transform in turn.
4. Digital labor technologies emerge and mature
More and more, enterprises are learning to leverage a hybrid workforce model that incorporates human labor alongside digital labor-such as chatbots and other AI systems that augment the traditional capabilities of the workforce. Digital business platforms will be vital tools that can help enterprises manage the shift to digital labor by helping to define new business models.
Digital business platforms can be a valuable technology to leverage when transforming your business. The key is to understand how to leverage a platform to support emerging technologies. First, your organization must alter your internal processes and mindset before implementing new technology. It is important to transition to a more modern approach to support customers by appealing to their contextual perspective.
Once your processes incorporate an outside-in perspective, you can begin analyzing which technologies will catalyze your business and which platform will help manage those technologies.
We are hosting a complimentary webinar on digital business platforms this month on May 26th.
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If you need help adjusting your digital business strategy, schedule an inquiry with our analysts.