The Digital (R)Evolution: Transforming Business ModelsJuly 6th, 2015
The 2015-2016 Britt Technology Impact Series will focus on the many ways technology transforms business by enabling new digital business models in a series titled Business Model (R)Evolution: The Age of Digital Transformation.
The rapid growth of hyperconnectivity enabled by mobility, cloud computing, and big data is giving rise to new digital opportunities and enabling a wide range of new business models. While some of these new business models are born out of new companies disrupting existing industries others emerge from existing industries adapting to digital changes and seeing new opportunities as they adapt. Two companies that have made excellent use of technology to create new digital business models are Duolingo and Deere & Company.
Duolingo is a language learning app named the iPhone App of the year in 2013. Duolingo leverages mobile technology to teach one of several languages to users for free. The app is user-friendly, doesn’t require dedicated blocks of time for learning, and has an impressive track record of success. The ingenious part of Duolingo’s business is that it is entirely free for end users. The company generates revenue by asking end users to translate sentences that it then sells as a translations service to clients that include BuzzFeed and CNN.
Deere & Company (commonly referred to as John Deere) is on the entire other end of the spectrum from Duolingo in both age and industry. The heavy equipment manufacturer has been around for over 175 years and is known the world over for their trademark green tractors. But tractors have come a long way since 1837 and John Deere is now also a technology company. Deere has made use of hyperconnectivity and data analytics to offer a wide range of smart technological solutions to customers. From remote diagnostics to precision planting, John Deere is now transforming the way we farm using digital technology.
Duolingo and John Deere are two examples of companies leveraging digital technologies to create new business models. The rapid growth of digital technologies is transforming business in ways never imagined, which is why the center is focusing our 2015-2016 Britt Technology Impact Series on digital business models. We look forward to exploring how companies are capitalizing on new opportunities created by digital technology and will examine a wide range of business models that are evolving or being created as a result of technology.