Finding value along the digital transformation journey

Digital business is more than automation and e-commerce. Digital business is also about embracing disruptive combinations of technologies to create new ways to get work done and achieve higher levels of business and societal value. Combining data from mobile, cloud, internet of things (IoT) sensors, instantaneous analysis and blockchain, for example, creates context-aware experiences that individuals and businesses can monetise in new and impactful ways.

With the frantic pace of change and the seemingly endless array of possibilities, enterprises are struggling to understand where and how to invest to drive digital transformation and stay ahead of the competition. While it is difficult for any enterprise – particularly those that do not deliver retail customer experiences – to know how to invest for the greatest digital value, the research and effort involved in making the right investment is virtually guaranteed to pay off. According to ISG data, an enterprise with a formal digital business strategy competency centre drives more than a two-thirds higher rate of revenue generation than an organisation that is not focusing on new business models.

What’s really needed is a way to bring order to the chaos of digital business transformation; a data-based system that combines enterprise information with investment and value realisation metrics, so business leaders can determine if their organisation is recognising the expected value and returns from a digital transformation journey, investing at the right levels and capabilities, and adopting and scaling at the right pace.

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Tracking digital transformation progress using metrics and comparisons to other organisations already on the digital journey leads to competitive advantage and strategic insights. ISG finds that enterprises generally are implementing a few solutions from six digital domains: Business model innovation; enterprise agility; emerging technologies at enterprise scale; digital backbone; data and insights, and digital ecosystems.

  • Business model innovation generates new revenue streams and allows enterprises to be relevant and competitive in the digital economy;
  • Enterprise agility – the ability to adapt to rapid change – is needed in both new and traditional technologies. ISG finds that organisations that started agile methods three or more years ago are twice as likely to be working on digital technologies and products now;
  • Emerging technologies at enterprise scale refers to the class of ever-changing technologies that harness the flexibility and power of context-aware computing. Emerging technologies that have the most potential to impact business include machine learning and deep neural networks, robotic process and cognitive automation, augmented/virtual reality and conversational systems and blockchain;
  • Digital backbone describes the cloud and infrastructure technologies common to almost all digital business initiatives, and the foundation for monetising new business designs;
  • Data and insights are the lifeblood of a digital transformation journey. For sustainable digital transformation and value in the form of reduced costs and increased efficiencies and insights, organisations must develop expertise through the entire data lifecycle, which includes data storage, data streaming, data exploration and statistical analysis;
  • Digital ecosystems are the scalable and lucrative combinations of cloud, applications and data.

Competency in all six of these domains provides the highest degree of digital capability. Ultimately, enterprises must identify the specific digital capabilities they need to achieve their desired business results. Since it’s a matter of when – not if – data and digital transformation will disrupt value chains, enterprises must use real, quantitative and comparative data from leading organisations that have already undertaken parts of the journey to measure their own progress.

ISG will explore the specifics of meaningful digital transformation value measurement at the ISG Digital Business Summit June 25 – 26 at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London. With dozens of digital business strategists and technology leaders from companies including CenturyLink, FedEx, Hugo Boss,, KidsKnowBest, Luxoft, Royal Bank of Scotland and the HR TECH Partnership, the summit will focus on how to turn disruption into opportunity, and will draw a detailed roadmap for embracing digital revolution to transform operations and create new, disruptive opportunities.

Digital transformation churn: Why the digital transformation fail rate is so high

The digitisation of the global economy has had many effects on global enterprises but few are more significant than the overwhelming desire to undergo digital transformation. Modern companies are under tremendous pressure to undergo this process lest they be left in the past, but digital transformation failure rates have become a major problem

Join us for thought-provoking sessions, hands-on technology demonstrations in the ISG Innovation Labs, business pitches from entrepreneurs competing in the ISG Startup Challenge, and six “mini-conferences” that allow deeper exploration of key topics. Renowned author, entrepreneur and expert on the future of customer centricity, Steven Van Belleghem will deliver the keynote address, “Customers the Day After Tomorrow,” demonstrating how the most successful businesses transform customer relationships and retention by focusing on digital transformation today, tomorrow, and beyond. Barry Matthews, ISG partner and host of the event, will open the summit with his “5x5x5” predictions, based on ISG data and insights, on which five industries will be most impacted by which five digital technologies over the next five years.

The ISG Digital Business Summit EMEA is sponsored by Luxoft, CenturyLink, Zensar and Digitalisation World. More details about ISG’s Digital Business Summit EMEA can be found on the event website.

The London event is the first of two ISG Digital Business Summits to be held this year. The second will be held in Clearwater, Fla., September 23-24. For more information about the U.S. event, visit the event website.

Written by Chris Germann, partner, ISG