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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Why Everyone Needs to Become a Digital Master
When hearing the term “digital masters,” many business people think of Silicon Valley and the whiz kids running dominant IT companies like Google.
But a new book contends that it’s time other companies woke up to the reality that if they want to excel in the future – with their employees, with their customers and in running their operations – then they need to also embrace the idea of using technology to transform their business. They, too, must become digital masters.
In a study of more than 400 large mainstream organizations in every industry around the world, authors of “Leading Digital,” found that digital masters are those companies that use digital technologies to drive greater profits, productivity and performance. Specifically, research shows that those who do digital transformation well are on average 26% more profitable than industry peers.
George Westerman, a research scientist in the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and one of the book’s authors, says the research also found that companies lagging behind in making a digital transformation were often worried about the cost, the lack of skills or regulatory concerns.
But the book debunks those worries, noting that making a digital transformation isn’t just about pouring money into IT and trying to woo talent away from Silicon Valley. Westerman explains, for example, that it’s also critical that a company have the leadership willing to drive that transformation throughout the culture. In addition, the employee talent for digital transformation doesn’t just come from tech backgrounds, he says.
“You don’t have to make yourself into Google,” he says. “Even if you’re making soap, there are things you can put into place that will give you an edge.”
If you don’t, Westerman warns, be prepared to be less productive, profitable and left behind as your competitors make the transformation.
Authors Westerman, Didier Bonnet and Andrew McAfee found that digital masters are those who use analytics, social media, mobile and embedded devices to understand customers better. These companies also implement technology to link customer-facing and (see more here)