How to adapt proactive digital acceleration with tangible results

We closed 2020 with Brexit and another wave of COVID-19, following the largest exogenous shock in modern history, extreme market volatility followed by an unprecedented fiscal and monetary response. 

There’s been a reset of the workforce and work itself, a reset of the employer/employee relationship, and a reset of the business ecosystem. We entered 2021,  hoping it will bring stabilization and a reset for a number of disruptions experienced last year. 

As organizations journey from responding to the crisis to driving growth, leaders are striving to adapt to changing conditions to compose the future business, requiring the organizational plasticity to form and reform dynamically. 

The focus is shifted from the recovery to the renewal with accelerated digital business initiatives in search of new solutions, in face of broken assumptions. The pace of adoption of this digitalization is different from digital prior to COVID-19. Pre-COVID business sustained with some digitalization but didn’t change what was working well enough. However, going forward organizations want to make better-informed and faster decisions, focusing on automation, real-time risk assessment and mitigation, combined with continuous value delivery and agile strategy making.  

The focus is on three things. 

  • People centricity - People are still at the center of all business and they need digitalized processes to function in this changing environment.
    • The internet of behaviors (IoB) - Combining existing technologies and connecting the resulting data to associated behavioral events, such as cash purchases or device usage. 
    • Total Experience (TX) - To improve the experiences of multiple constituents to achieve a transformed business outcome. 
    • Privacy-Enhancing Computation - Protecting data in use while maintaining secrecy or privacy.
  • Location independence - Pandemic has shifted where employees, customers, suppliers, and organization’s ecosystems physically exist. This location independence requires a technology shift to support this new version of the business.
    • Distributed Cloud - The distribution of public cloud services closer to the physical location where data and business activities happen.
    • Anywhere Operations - IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere, and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructures. 
    • Cybersecurity Mesh - The cybersecurity mesh enables anyone to access any digital asset securely, no matter where the asset or person is located. 
  • Resilient delivery - Whether a pandemic or a rescission, volatility exists in the world
    • Intelligent Composable Business - An intelligent composable business radically re-engineers decision-making by accessing better information and responding more nimbly to it. 
    • AI Engineering - A discipline focused on the governance and life cycle management of a wide range of operationalized AI and decision models, such as machine learning or knowledge graphs.
    • Hyperautomation - Business-driven hyperautomation is a disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many approved business and IT processes as possible. Anything in an organization that can be automated should be automated.

      Working toward the future, organizations need to be applying digital business acceleration to these dimensions:

    • The “everything customer,” who requires both deep personalization and ironclad privacy.
    • Right-scoped growth, which may involve new customer segments and the abandonment of incumbent value propositions.
    • A composable technology foundation that balances efficiency with resilience
    • An adaptable workforce, equipped with the skills, processes, information, and autonomy to flex in the face of disruption
    • Any-scale operations that can spin up and down with demand and unforeseen circumstances

      Organizations today are supported by a “patchwork” of technologies that are not lean, optimized, connected, clean or explicit. However, the acceleration of digital business requires efficiency, speed and democratization. Organizations that focus on efficiency, efficacy and business transformation will lead tomorrow.