Digital FootprintIn “Unleash Your Digital Business”, I highlight the need for all companies to embrace digital business as a new business model – one in which the nature of the value exchange with customers is fundamentally changed. Since then, CIOs frequently asked me what they should be doing to help their firms become a digital business.

The answers lies in the difference between Business Technology (BT) and Information Technology (IT). BT focuses on the systems, technologies, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers. Whereas IT focuses on the systems, technologies, and processes to support and transform an organization’s internal operations. To become a digital business CIOs must adopt the BT agenda.

Our research on digital business highlights the need for the organization to focus on six core digital strategies that drive digital customer experience and digital operational excellence in support of customers. Each of these strategies is an integral component of the CIOs BT agenda:

  • Digitize the end-to-end customer experience
  • Digitize products and services inside the customer’s value ecosystem
  • Create trusted machines
  • Digitize for agility over efficiency
  • Drive rapid customer centric innovation
  • Source enhanced operational capabilities within a dynamic ecosystem

The report Emerging Business Technology Priorities highlights the connection between BT and strategic business capabilities; those capabilities that differentiate the organization in the market, the capabilities that cause the customer to chose your firm over a competitor. And BT fully supports the business capabilities that create a differentiated and valued customer experience.

I believe the BT agenda represents an exciting opportunity for CIOs to partner with their CMO and build a true digital business – one that creates new sources of value for customers. What's your perspective? Is your firm learning to embrace the BT agenda – if so how? If not, what are the barriers you face? Post your comments below or on Twitter @NigelFenwick

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