The Six Stages of Building a Digital Enterprise

Digitalisation is the demand of today’s competitive business environment. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data and blockchain are playing a key role in disrupting the global corporate sector. Blockchain technology has emerged as a threat to centralised banking. Sensor technologies are a concern for the traditional security system industry. AI is an emerging concern for the transportation industry as the development of self-driving vehicles will knock off innumerable driver jobs. Chatbots are likely to automate millions of customer helpdesk jobs. To leverage emerging technologies in their favour, global organisations have to embrace the dynamic technological environment and update their technology systems frequently, which is indeed a costly affair.

The global digital transformation industry size was valued at US$177.2billion in 2016 and is expected to reach US$798.44 billion by 2025.

Choosing the Right Digital Strategy

Digital transformation typically revolves around customers, value, innovation, competition and, most importantly, data. Digital technologies are playing an integral role in exploring new services, which organisations can leverage to their advantage. The only choice corporates have to make is which digital strategy will match well with their business model and what will be the best way to implement it. There are several stages in building a digital enterprise:

Digital Strategy Assessment

The most critical factor that determines the success of the digital strategy is an assessment of the right plan. It should align well with the company’s business framework and support its long-term goals. The right approach depends on various factors such as the business model, size, market positioning, technology, automation, sustainability and so on.

Collaborative Effort

Identifying the right stakeholders is the next step in implementing an effective digital strategy. The majority of Fortune 500 firms ensure that their leaders are highly involved while designing the digital approach. As per a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, around 41% of CEOs of the world’s most successful companies are directly involved in developing the digital strategy agenda in the firm. It requires an immense cultural change to adopt digitalisation. The key factors that determine the success of the implementation are a collaborative effort and the expertise of the leaders involved.

Developing Cost-Effective, Advanced Digital Infrastructure

The organisation must choose a suitable digital infrastructure that matches well with their requirements and budget. The company leaders should design a layout with efficiency and cost as priority considerations. The organisation must also consider whether it would like to develop the digital infrastructure in-house or will leverage services from an external vendor.

Capacity Assessment

Organisations should evaluate whether their infrastructure and resources can support digital transformation as it requires high-speed Internet, bandwidth, modern servers and so on. The wise decision is to adopt a digital infrastructure that is economical and fulfils most or all of the company’s needs.

Clear Vision

The prime objective of digitalisation is to enhance customer experience. It is incredibly challenging to implement digital technologies; thus, it is of paramount importance to have a clear vision and clarity of the objectives that the firm wants to accomplish through digitalisation.


Benchmarking is an essential aspect of digitalisation. The management should define the benchmarks clearly at the outset to ensure that project associates and leaders understand what they need to achieve. Scheduling systematic progress assessments will assist in keeping track of the performance and prepare the team for any uncertainty.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), “Organisations must clearly outline or define ‘digital traction’ metrics to keep track of their digital vision”.

Digitalisation can offer a catalogue of benefits to the corporate sector by making their production process more agile and productive. The only condition is effective implementation with the right people who are willing to embrace the change and invest in it.

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