The inability to recognize that digital businesses are radically different from traditional ones leads to both failure of vision and failure of execution in digital transformation programs. It is imperative that enterprises recognize that they need a new mindset and a new approach to succeed in the digitally disrupted world, or else they risk losing unrecoverable ground to the digital natives.

I want to share five principles to achieve transformative success in your digital journey.

1. Rethink The Business Model

Industry value chains are becoming disintermediated. The end customer, who was once a few steps removed, now interacts with your enterprise directly. You need to rethink your business model to benefit from this disintermediation and to engage with this younger, digitally-savvy customer. You also need to rethink your products, pricing, customer touchpoints, service delivery models, etc. As you evolve the business models, you cannot be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. Business model decisions are often limited because of the worry that some of your revenue from an existing channel or service line might be impacted. This incremental thinking does not fit in the digital age. If you don’t do it, someone else will come in and cannibalize you

2. Focus Obsessively On Business And Customer Outcomes

Digital transformation initiatives can end up becoming massive, never-ending projects, and it is easy to lose sight of what one set out to achieve. In my experience, the ideal way to start is with sharply defined key performance indicators (KPIs) which will have the most material impact on your business. Once the business KPI is defined, it should become the anchor for the entire transformation program. Business KPIs should flow from your strategic priorities, such as increasing the digital channel mix, increasing cross-sell or up-sell or improving customer retention. Once you have chosen the business KPI as a starting point, the next step is to identify and solve customer pain points that will move this business KPI. Sharp focus on business and customer outcomes will help you keep focus and ensure that you are solving the right problems.