That’s how long your company has before it’s gobbled up.
If you don’t like that idea, then you better get busy figuring out a way to stop it and become the one doing the gobbling, warns new research.
By 2020, businesses that learn to master digital will become the predator, while those that make minor changes or don’t do anything at all will become digital prey, says Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick.
“To unleash the full potential of digital requires more than adding a new mobile app or website to your existing business,” he warns.
Forrester’s research looks at where companies may stand and whether they can survive the challenge of the next four years. They say companies need to think about whether they are:
- Digital predators: These companies report 60% or more of their revenue is already influenced by digital activity. They understand how to use digital to create customer value. Their biggest challenge? Learning to scale the business without losing their competitive edge.
- Digital transformers: By 2020, these companies predict they will shift more than 40% of their revenue to become influenced by digital, or arrive through digital channels. Such a shift will require “significant transformation to succeed,” the report says.
- Digital dinosaurs. Leaders in these companies see digital as having less impact on future revenue than do the transformers or predators. This group risks extinction by 2020.
Forrester researchers point out that a company like Tesla Motors is seen as a predator because it understands how to use digital to create value. For example, Tesla pulls out all the stops when it comes to helping their customers. Instead of having to make an appointment for car service updates and then going to a service dealership to have them installed, Tesla provides automatic car system software downloads for its customers.
Further, it’s also important that predators ensure they are sending a strong message to employees and customers about their strategy. For example, once GE CEO Jeff Immelt determined that GE had to make a shift to being an industrial internet leader, he clearly communicated that vision to employees through various sessions and reinforced the message in media interviews. (According to a Forrester online survey, 82% of employees in predator companies say they understand the firm’s strategy and approach to digital business. That compares to 71% in transformer companies and 57% in dinosaur organizations.)
Predators also push the entire organization to use data assets to deliver superior customer experience. In fact, it’s rated as the No. 1 factor for success. “Predators are customer-obsessed, using digital experiences to stand apart from competitors,” the report says.
In contrast, dinosaurs focus more on recruiting the right employees. “Given their lack of digital progress, this is understandable – they need digital talent to move the company off the floor,” the report says.