When today’s companies set out to become fully-evolved Enterprise 3.0 digital organizations, they can find themselves on a dark road that turns out to be poorly signed, full of potholes and more winding than they anticipated. And that’s before the wrong turns that get made when organizations aren’t sure where their trips are starting or ending. 

Recently though, guidance for companies seeking to transform their businesses to digital arrived from two sources ― infographics from global IT innovator NTT Data and a white paper from multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young. Both offer strategic and tactical direction for enterprises that want to chart a course to full digital engagement. 

6 Factors in Common 

NTT Data’s advice is rooted in the premise that even though there’s not one single path that will bring every company to the Enterprise 3.0 digital finish line, all companies share six factors common. These drivers of digital success ― which NTT Data calls “enablers” ― are people, leadership, management culture, organizational intelligence, business processes and enterprise systems.

6 organizational elements NTT Graphic

“Right now, every enterprise is somewhere on the road to becoming a digital business,” said Shamlan Siddiqi, NTT Data Vice President and head of its McLean, Va.-based Digital Experience practice. “The interesting thing is that no matter what map they’re following or vehicle they’re using, [identifying] those … six elements helps CIOs figure out where to go and have a valid road map." 

Steps to Enterprise 3.0

Moving Toward Digital Maturity

For example, startups often begin life as fully-digital enterprises, while in more traditional industries, "Enterprise 3.0 is a target,” Saddiqi noted. Regardless of where organizations stand when they begin their transformations, Siddiqi highlighted four actions that any company should take to enhance its level of digital maturity:

  1. Align business strategy with core outcomes. This effort must start with updating enterprise business models and setting new goals and directions. Then it should go on to include defining new performance measures and developing new metrics to measure outcomes.
  2. Align business goals with business processes. This may sound obvious but it is a key step in the process of digital evolution that must receive careful attention because it can prove to be unexpectedly complex and is often underestimated.
  3. Move the focus to customer experience. That means paying particular attention to developing omnichannel strategies to create seamless experiences across platforms.
  4. Integrate all customer-facing and other appropriate technologies. Align all elements toward driving business goals in ways that will be friction-free for customers and employees.

Getting a Second Opinion

A second perspective and set of insights into the process of migrating to Enterprise 3.0 comes from Ernst & Young Digital Advisory Service’s recent report entitled “Enterprise 3.0: A Digital Enterprise” (pdf).

According to the report, “Powerful change levers under the umbrella of digital transformation, e.g., cloud computing, consumerization of IT and global sourcing are also predicted to offer enterprises genuine breakthrough approaches to realization of semi or total virtualization.” 

The report envisions the move to enterprise digital as a migration to “virtual” enterprises that will be built around four principles. To succeed, Ernst & Young urges digital enterprises to become: 

  1. Loosely coupled, migrating from today’s tightly linked processes to a future of more loosely coupled collaborative networked services.
  2. Companies as services, moving toward a business model that re-envisions assets and capabilities as flexible services rather than fixed offerings.
  3. Flexible regarding data, evolving from database management to data as the basis for discoverable information services.
  4. Open to change, whether to organizational structure, governance or roles and responsibilities that will further enable the virtualization of enterprises.

Are We There Yet?

So how will organizations know when they have arrived at their Enterprise 3.0 destination? The Ernst & Young report suggests checking for the presence of these six key elements that set digital enterprises apart: 

  1. Immersive experiences: Fully immersive experiences characterize every employee and customer system and process and have been designed with purpose, not as afterthoughts.
  2. Innovation: Innovative ideas can bubble up from areas as diverse as employees, customers or even competitive intelligence because the organization has created an appropriate infrastructure to encourage and manage those ideas. 
  3. Omnichannel: Business processes are optimized across channels for efficient social media and omnichannel engagement.
  4. Agility: In a truly digital enterprise, the entire organization is able to respond to changing marketing conditions with self-organizing teams that work on asset-light projects.
  5. Engagement: New systems of engagement are seamlessly integrated with existing systems of record.
  6. Enterprise strategy: All enterprise decisions are informed by multi-dimensional, cross-platform analytics that tie back to both strategic and tactical business goals.

Title image by Wojtek Witkowski