Roundtable Discussions: How to become a digital enterprise

Monique Alves, T'17 On March 6th, 2017

Topics: Enterprise IT

Digital analytics and the new mix of skills required around it were frequent talking points during the recent Roundtable on Digital Strategies: The Digital Enterprise and Changing Business Models.   A digital enterprise and new business models required a mix of traditional business approach and entrepreneurial, forward thinking employees able to ground their recommendations in data analytics. It is the intersection of data analysis, digestible insights, and managerial communication which will help traditional companies adopt to this digital age of business.

As one member stated, “a digital enterprise is one doing some [service enhancement or product delivery] with digital that you otherwise could not do…[manually or with existing systems and software].”

The conversation was not if the enterprise needed to become a digital enterprise, but how to become one. We spent time pondering the questions, “What does your organization achieve by pursuing this?” and “How do you secure support and implement this throughout the organization – from consideration during Business/IT strategy to adoption by frontline employees?”  To me, this question boils down to: what ultimately shapes an evolving business model – a pure business strategy OR one incorporating the IT/Digital strategy too?

Enterprises are not just using existing resources and budgets to meet the digital challenge, they’re putting additional money behind it and investing strategically in IT systems. There is more appetite to see what IT and data analytics can do to bring additional value to customers, to the business strategy, and to top line growth. They understand the competitive need for it.

I was surprised by the similarity of enterprise CIO concerns to that of startup concerns:

  1. to identify the opportunities to serve customers in ways customers don’t yet realize they need and
  2. to find the talent and opportunities to address those opportunities before others.

Digital first enterprises embrace the challenge to leapfrog their own current capabilities, to stay competitive, and to grow in this new business environment by using analytics and creativity to analyze improvement opportunities function by function.

As some members discussed, you can’t safely estimate if you’ll be disintermediated by a digital disruption in 3 years or in 10 years.  You have to adopt a dynamic and agile IT and project team approach today to continually iterate on new initiatives and rapidly respond to the disruption.


The Roundtable on Digital Strategies is a membership that meets four times per year and is designed as a thought-provoking, executive peer-to-peer discussion of the major changes and challenges facing corporate IT.

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