We must move from a traditional pre-digital transformation model that measures production, to a post-digital transformation model that measures consumption.

It is much easier to measure the consumption and use of digital things than it is to measure the consumption and use of physical things. 

If you sell a print book, magazine or newspaper, it is very difficult to measure how it was consumed. What parts of it were read? What parts weren’t? The same goes for most physical products. Because consumption was so difficult to measure, it wasn’t measured. 

Of course, there was a crude metric in place. If the ‘whole’ product didn’t sell then you stopped producing it.

It is so much easier to measure how digital things are being used / consumed. The companies that are measuring the use of digital are gaining in efficiency and effectiveness. They are delivering better, more refined services. They are serving their customers’ needs with much greater precision.

Connected with all this is the whole way we conceptualize and measure worth. Organizations talk about their worth and value in the form of websites, apps, content, software. They talk about these things from a physical model of thinking. These are the things that they produce. These are the things that have value to an organization. 

And because traditional models measure value based on physical things, they measure staff contributions in the same way.

You are rewarded based on creating the thing (website, app) and bringing the customer to the thing. You are not measured based on how the customer uses the thing. We don’t measure the value to the customer, so staff are rarely focused on providing value for the customer. They assume, often wrongly, that if they produce the thing (content, code) then value will flow from the thing.

Learning Opportunities

The web allows us to measure use and leverage the network. BuzzFeed is not a website. Instead, it is “a cross-platform, global network for news and entertainment that generates six billion views each month.” More than 80 percent of BuzzFeed content is consumed outside its own websites.

“BuzzFeed has decoupled monetization from website pageviews,” Zack Liscio wrote for Naytev Insights in April 2016. “Publishers must look beyond the traditional bounds of their websites and give equal priority to the distributed parts of their audiences.”

Google is leveraging the network in a different way. Instead of using the network to distribute content it uses it to contribute content. Increasingly, this content is coming in the form of answers to questions asked. When you search for today’s weather on Google, you now get the weather, not a link to a website that has the weather.

Digital transforms the silo into the network. It transforms the product into the service. It transforms the producer into the service professional. In digital transformation, the focus moves away from production to findability and usability.

If you want to make things really findable you bring them as close to the consumer as possible. To maximize findability you must minimize the need to search. It’s there, exactly where the consumer is. It is placed at the point of consumption so its chances of being consumed are maximized.

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