Roundtable on Digital Strategies

The Digital Enterprise and Changing Business Models – Americas Chapter

Houston, TX | Hosted by Tenaris

A recent World Economic Forum report identified six mega trends in the impact of software on society in the next ten years, and 21 shifts, “tipping points”, that will transform global society. The report fed the development for the 2016 agenda topic for Davos meeting, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Smart connectivity continues to grow, enabling digital technologies to flourish in ways and places not possible prior, connecting more people daily. Our ability to generate and combine data grows by leaps and bounds, limited mainly by our ability to absorb and utilize it. In our own Fall 2015 roundtable, we identified a dozen tech trends that are impacting corporations in a material way, from the connected devices of IoT, to the expansion of AI, the reality of 3D printing, and the possibilities of virtual reality.

What do these developments really mean for our organizations, approaches to strategy and business/operating models? New companies, largely software enabled (Uber or Airbnb) are emerging to challenge established players in transportation and accommodations respectively. At the same time, the separation between traditional store customers and online shoppers has largely disappeared, as consumers want to combine the advantages of each into one retail experience. Established companies, both B2C and B2B are therefore changing how they operate, adjusting to the fact that software and data are becoming key enablers, even the drivers, in many areas of business.

We are witnessing profound shifts across most industries marked by the emergence of new business models, the disruption of incumbents and the reshaping of demand, production, transportation, delivery and consumption systems. Given the pace of development and acceptance of digitally-enabled change, those who don’t address these shifts risk being left behind.  Some of the questions we will seek to address are:

  • What parts of our businesses are being challenged by digital business models of new entrants or changing models of competitors or partners?
  • What new models are we creating to respond to the changing environment?  Are customer journeys at the heart of this? How do we support emerging business opportunities where data/info/analytics are becoming the product/service?
  • What are the key features of successful shifts in business strategy? Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester posits they are: a focus on customer experiences, software product thinking, rapid iterative development, and ecosystem business models. Is he right?
  • How do we encourage and support the rapid development of capabilities in all parts of the business—while ensuring that data can be shared, infrastructures leveraged and not duplicated (in this cost conscious environment), and critical information protected?
  • What are the key elements of driving a digital mindset throughout the organization? How do we reduce risk enough for our people so that they are able to accelerate adoption of the behaviors that will enable change and acceptance of new ways to operate?
  • How is the leadership challenge different in this new environment? What are the new imperatives, and how do we have to organize, manage, and lead differently in order to meet them? Who drives this in a corporation or other large organization?
  • How do we have to rethink governance models and metrics? What are the new criteria for measuring success?  How do we balance the upside potential of innovation with the downside risks of data security and business model disruption?
  • How does one organize to support digital marketing, digital in products, digitally-enabled services, a digitally-automated supply chain, etc? Who drives this and how? What does it look like and is it all under the CIO? What are the key partnerships to enable it?

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