Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What is a Digital Enterprise?

In my previous blog post, I had ruminated on some of the business drivers that are pressing organizations towards a digital transformation. Today, someone in my team asked me a simple question - What exactly is a Digital Enterprise? As it always has been the case, there is no industry-standard definition for a Digital Enterprise, but there are some common themes that can be understood :) Jotting down my thoughts on the same.

A Digital Enterprise is any organization that successfully leverages modern disruptive technologies to gain a competitive edge in their business and create a better customer experience to drive business growth. The technology strategies that form the architecture foundation of a digital enterprise are listed below. Though many industry pundits are harping on the importance of SMAC technologies, IMHO there are other traditional technologies (and technology strategies) that would also play an important role in a 'Digital Enterprise'.

  1. Web Property Consolidation: This entails consistent user experience, uniform branding, consolidation of multiple web sites under a single ECM (Enterprise Content Management) platform. 
  2. Digitization of Transactions: Believe it of not, many legacy systems still do not have all business processes completely automated and hence require manual entry or paper work. Digitization of end-to-end transactions enabling STP (Straight Through Processing) using BPM and SOA platforms. 
  3. 360-degree view of Subject Areas: Creating a 360-degree view of your customer to enable effective cross-selling and up-selling. 
  4. Social Media Strategy:  Social as a platform for customer service. Social as a platform for VoC (Voice of Customer). Social as a platform for information dissemination. Sentiment Analysis on social sites, etc.
  5. Mobility: Multi-channel delivery, Usability, Native Apps vs. HTML5/CSS3 Apps.
  6. Big Data Analytics: Enable full-volume analytics rather than just sampling. Leverage open source platforms such as Hadoop. NoSQL stores such as MongoDB.
  7. Cloud Computing: Leverage economies of scale, faster provisioning, quicker go-to-market, etc. Build strategy for public vs. private clouds.
  8. Personalization:  Create a unique customer experience, fine-grained targeted marketing, highly personalized interactions based on past history, demographics, life events and analytics insight.