Next up in this transformation series is the fifth enabler: systems of engagement. Geoffrey Moore introduced the Systems of Engagement concept about two years ago. This vision for the future of Information Technology is gaining broader acceptance – but a surprising number of executives are blind to the coming sea change. Where current enterprise systems are designed around records (systems of record); these new systems are designed around interactions. Where technology investment in the last two decades enabled transaction workers and executives – these systems enable the middle of organizations with a focus on growth.
The next focus of this transformation series shifts to the emergence of value ecosystems and their role in driving the Enterprise of 2020. As we look at the Apple ecosystem and offerings like the connected car, mobile commerce, energy efficiency, electric cars, eHealthcare, and energy performance contracts, we can see the lines between industries blurring. Some even question the relevance of Industry constructs in the future. As this phenomenon accelerates, more and more companies must identify the relevant ecosystem(s) that enable their growth strategies. These value ecosystems are complex and relationship-oriented, representing future growth opportunities that are increasingly outside a company’s traditional business.
The next focus area in this closer look at transformation is the fifth and perhaps most critical forcing function: societal change. Wikipedia refers to societal change as an alteration in the social order of a society, including changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviors, or social relations. The base of such change is change in the thought process of humans. Digital is the primary driver of a societal change not seen since the first industrial revolution, impacting every aspect of society from business to war. It was digital (Internet) that accelerated globalization, and now the broader digital platform allows even a start-up to be global upon inception.
Continuing with this closer look at transformation, part three focuses on differentiation; the fourth forcing function. Differentiation is a process that showcases the differences between products and services. It looks to make an offering more attractive by contrasting its unique qualities with other competing offerings. Successful differentiation should create competitive advantage, as customers view these offerings as unique or superior. In his piece on The Future of Enterprise IT, Geoffrey Moore, famous author of “Crossing the Chasm” describes the global business dynamics (Slide 10) that places differentiation at the center of a virtuous (perhaps vicious) cycle. His key message is that globalization and rapid commoditization are placing greater emphasis on differentiation, especially in developed economies.
In part two of this closer look at transformation, we will focus on two forcing functions: effectiveness and next generation efficiency. As a reminder, forcing functions are those things that force the enterprise to invest in a future state. In the case of efficiency, the next phase in the search for gains is upon us, as companies have hit the efficiency wall. But something bigger is happening, as the pace of business will increasingly demand that we are not just efficient – but effective. Whereas the past was about re-engineering, the future is about re-imagining.
Part six wraps up our Digital Enterprise road map series with a focus on moving insight delivery from descriptive to prescriptive. Throughout this series, I have stressed the importance of analytic excellence to long term success. But current methods such as traditional business intelligence (BI) focus on reporting and analysis that seeks to answer questions related to past events – what happened. Advanced analytics seeks to answer questions such as: why is this happening, what if these trends continue, what will happen next (predict), and what is the best that can happen (prescribe). There is a growing view that prescribing outcomes is the ultimate role of analytics. To accomplish this, analytic initiatives need to leverage an insight-action-outcome framework that starts by defining outcome-enabling insight and ends with a focus on data provisioning.
A new short Video featuring Tonya McKinney and I is now available on the TCS website. The focus of the video is the broadening role that Digital will play in the future enterprise. It’s no secret that I still see too many companies limiting their digital perspective to Marketing. Digital will eventually be viewed as the biggest disruptive force business has ever seen. Yet so many companies still have a business as usual view of the world. You can read about our perspective on the critical path forward via this Blog or through the TCS Perspective Series.