Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

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A third, and perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of an organization’s digital transformation, is the transformation of it’s business model. The digital world has allowed, and oftentimes necessitates, the complete reformation of the way a business makes money and goes to market. Capgemini Consulting and MIT offer two notable ways this occurs.


Digitally-modified Businesses (i.e. sustaining innovations)

A digitally modified business is one that adopts technologies or innovations that add to their current product or service. For example, Toyota may develop a new technology that reduces the need for human capital and offers more production capacity. Or, perhaps, an insurance agency may dramatically reduce the amount of customer cold-calling it’s sales office does in exchange for collecting customer information through website traffic data or free web chat consultations. This potential customer information could then used for outreach via email, text or social media. Both of these cases are examples of a modified business model that changes the way business is done without the need of a new, separate organization to manage the innovation.


New Digital Businesses (i.e. disruptive innovations)

Another aspect of business model transformation is in the introduction of a completely new and “disruptive” way of doing business. The term disruptive is not simply to imply the type of competitive moves that cause shake-ups in the market and temporarily disrupt the steady trajectory of other organizations. The type of changes that are followed by relatively short-term, reactionary plays which bring competition inline again. A disruptive innovation in the sense considered in this article quite literally upends incumbent organizations and houses the inertia to put the existing business model out of the job.

As defined by innovation expert Clayton Christensen, disruption “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.” Think personal computers disrupting mainframe and mini computers, or cell phones disrupting landlines and online retailers that are currently disrupting discount retailers that once disrupted full-service department stores.

This subject will merit it’s own series of posts and will describe in detail the process of disruption and a tried and true methodology to either disrupt or avoid being disrupted.


As you consider your business model, ask yourself, “What ways can I incrementally use technology to improve and enhance my current business model. And, “What simpler, more convenient, cheaper, down-market trends am I seeing that are taking my lowest end customers? Should I adopt a similar methodology to prepare for the long-term?” Once again, we’ll discuss these questions in more depth in posts to come.

To summarize, here is an insightful comment recorded by Capgemini and MIT researchers, “A media executive said, ‘We’ve realized that if we don’t transform the way we do business, we’re going to die. It’s not about changing the way we do technology but changing the way we do business.'”


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