The three traits which digitally leading companies share: Disrupt or risk being disrupted

If only digital transformation in large organisations were as easy as flicking a switch; one day you are laggards, the next you are ahead of the chasing pack.

Alas, getting top-down buy in and replacing legacy technologies – as well as sourcing which technologies are right for your company – takes time. But a new piece of research from Alfresco Software and Forbes Insights shares key trends which differentiate the fastest growing players in the digital economy.

“Today’s corporate leaders must realise that they need to disrupt or risk being disrupted,” said John Newton, CTO and founder of Alfresco. “Those who are not yet thinking about how they will innovate with new approaches leveraging technology are at risk.”

Companies punching above their weight in digital are likely to excel at three things; a strategy of customer and user-first thinking; an open approach to the flow of ideas and concepts; and re-imagining their business model to support a shared economy.

This is backed up by survey results polling more than 300 senior IT executives. 85% of fast-growing companies have dedicated user experience teams, with the same number saying a commitment to open standards is either important or very important.

Getting data from outside of the organisation – and sharing it – is also key, and it is an issue which is just starting to raise its head. Today, only 16% of fast-growing companies consume information from other customers, partners and suppliers – yet more than half (56%) plan to significantly increase this output by 2020.

This could go even further; a study from MIT Sloan Management Review from September recommended sharing data to customers, suppliers, and even competitors, could be vital. Businesses with good analytical capabilities were three times more likely to report having no trouble getting business value from the Internet of Things (IoT), the report added.

With one eye on the C-suite outlook however, Alfresco said leaders need to change their thinking in three ways, moving towards ‘design’, ‘open’, and ‘platform’ thinking, giving an example of the latter as Uber’s integration with Google Maps. The company calls this “the ability to extend your reach far and wide to attract more people to your platform.”

 

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