Building Balanced & Sustainable Enterprise Digital Capability

Since resources are finite, your Digital Strategy is a matter of choosing where and how to focus on certain capability areas at exclusion of others. This means that there will be an active choice to put less emphasis on other areas. The outcome of these decisions, choices and methods in your organisations Digital DNA.

A transformation will struggle to deliver sustainable & scalable value propositions if it has any number of capability blind spots. Each proposition requires a capability combinations that are employed in a consistent and scaleable fashion.

In hindsight, there are plenty of common pitfalls caused by a lack of digital capability balance. Here I detail a few more recent configurations & likely outcomes & alternatives to be careful to avoid making the same mistakes.

Innovation Theatre

  • The Intention: drive to focus on ideas, innovation or internal “Shark Tank” forums are created in an effort to shift the the products and business models.
  • Likely Outcome: most ideas fail to see the light of day due to the lack of ability to rapidly build and manage modern apps that show demonstrable engagement data.
  • Potential Alternatives: Instead, try looking at addressing all capabilities in the context of flexible CFO capabilities such as “No-regrets” Exploration & VC-funding Models.

The Data-Driven Switch

  • The Intention: data is prioritised as a core organisational assets. The idea is start using smart data & AI/ML tech to optimise digital customer engagement and provide valuable insight and real-time decision making capability rather than relying on intensive & unreliable human “gut feel”.
  • Likely Outcome: tackling a sprawling data estate without skills & automation can be overly complex & delay programs. When complete, a lack of trust be caused by limitation in scalability, consistency and decision-making integration.
  • Potential Alternatives: try sticking to initiatives that can be delivered with a handful of trusted, controlled datas sets. Then build trust and address capability combinations over time.

The Cost Cutter

  • The Intention: focus on exploiting new technologies to target leaning out our technology stack and automate processes eliminating teams & assets from the balance sheet.
  • Likely Outcome: the speed and value from rapid cost savings are tough to meet and damage team moral by cutting investment in areas such as team training, experimentation and structure shifts. Friction with legacy operating model (e.g. processes, structures, roles) create friction and a contradictory market message.
  • Potential Alternatives: trying treating the whole change as a holistic business transformation. Use messaging, budgeting and architecture that embraces all roles, processes, cultures. Where appropriate prioritise sustainable internal digital skills.