Roundtable on Digital Strategies

Digital Strategies, Data and Changing Business Models

Topics: Big Data / Analytics Culture Customer

April 7, 2016 • Geneva, Switzerland • Hosted by the IFRC

Digital Strategies, Data and Changing Business Models Photo

April 7, 2016 • Geneva, Switzerland • Hosted by ICRC

A recent World Economic Forum report identified six megatrends 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 this year’s agenda for Davos, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Smart connectivity continues to grow in almost all parts of the world, enabling digital technologies to flourish in ways and places they could not before, and connecting more people daily. Our ability to generate, collect and combine data grows by leaps and bounds, limited mainly by our ability to absorb and utilize it. In our own fall roundtable, we identified a dozen tech trends that are impacting corporations in a material way, from the connected devices of the internet of things, to the role of artificial intelligence, and the reality of 3D printing.

What do these developments really mean for our organizations, strategies and business/operating models? New companies with a clean start and largely software enabled, think Uber (vs. taxis) or Airbnb (vs. hotels) are emerging to challenge established players. At the same time, the separation between traditional physical store customers and online shoppers has largely disappeared, as consumers want to combine the advantages of each into one experience. Established companies, both B2C and B2B are therefore changing how they operate, adjusting to the fact that software is becoming a key enabler, even the driver, in almost all areas of business. Business models in many industries are well on their way to being transformed, and those who don’t address this shift 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—“the blooming of a thousand flowers”—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?

Topic Statement

Roundtable Overview

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