Sharing Digital Innovation Secrets: 4 Ways to Bypass Your Competitors

Digital transformation isn’t an all-or-nothing effort, but action is required.

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According to IDG’s CIO Pandemic Business Impact Survey, 2020, 59% of respondents agree that the COVID-19 has accelerated their digital transformation efforts. While the impact of the global pandemic shed light on organizational digital readiness, it also became clear that those companies that went into the pandemic having already adopted capabilities such as AI and automation and services like AWS cloud effectively weathered the storm.

The good news for those organizations that didn’t get a head start on digital transformation: it’s not too late to use technology to differentiate and transform the business, achieving (or even exceeding) market parity.

Leapfrog the Competition

Fortunately, digital innovation is more like hopscotch and less like climbing a ladder. Organizations can pinpoint their objective and work toward it while potentially bypassing steps competitors may have taken along the way. Here’s how:

  • Focus on the business. By reformulating business models with digital at the core, you can unearth opportunities to drive greater value through enhanced customer experiences and new lines of revenue. This can create a positive cycle that helps the organization reach its short-term transformation goals and help it achieve long-term innovation for competitive advantage.

  • Use technology as a lever. View your digital reinvention through the lens of your business objectives, with technology operating as a means to reach those goals — for example by automating existing processes or moving workloads to the cloud. A recent NTT DATA and Longitude report found that digital leaders didn’t rely on one specific technology to unlock market value, but rather the mature use of a suite of advanced technologies to help the business reach its goals. Moreover, organizations with wider technology adoption drove revenue growth and business transformation faster than others in the survey.

  • For cloud-native benefits, skip the lift and shift. It isn’t necessary to lift and shift an application to the cloud to then modernize it. You can work directly toward your end goal through application modernization that expedites your desired business benefits. This allows you to directly target, extend and expand to cloud-enabled areas like IoT, AI, machine learning (ML) and automation that will have even greater business impact.

  • Accelerate the journey. Digital reinvention is not a one-and-done activity; an ongoing competitive advantage depends upon continuous innovation accompanied by incremental change and improvement. Bold ideas can only be realized with a culture of innovation, learning and improvement; a technology foundation built to support business agility; and a strategy that emphasizes continuous transformation.

Reinventing the Business

G6 Hospitality launched a digital reinvention program to modernize its infrastructure and overcome competitive industry pressures. Called IT 2.0, the initiative targeted core systems and architecture for AWS migration, including its HotelKey Property Management System and Above Property solution for reservations. Among other benefits, the initiative made the guest check-in experience faster, more consistent and more engaging — growing guest satisfaction. With an iterative learning approach to digital reinvention, G6 Hospitality’s cloud transformation journey experienced many milestones where efficiency gains freed the brand to further reinvent across the business, helping it better anticipate and manage future competitive pressures.

Or, consider the case of a regional Blue Cross Blue Shield that transformed its legacy data systems with a new data lake on AWS. In the process it was able to increase its efficiency by more than 33% and begin unearthing data insights to meet its goals of giving more personalized care and increasing provider collaboration. The organization brought together healthcare claims data from different processing systems with unstructured sources to gain the power and flexibility to improve care, lower costs and grow membership.

Take Action

While many organizations take months to begin working on a new idea, and even longer to move it through to production, competitors don’t wait. If the NTT DATA-Longitude data has shown us anything it is that digital leaders not only survived the pandemic but also profited and grew in the face of it with the help of key technologies like AWS and automation that gave them added resilience and agility to adapt faster than the competition.

Support your own resilience and agility with these steps and a structure for digital reinvention that will help you leapfrog the competition. Get the Guide to Prepare Your IT Platform for the Agile Enterprise.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.