In the 21st century, the presence of technology is ubiquitous. Computers have moved from batch processing in the back-office through word processing in the front office to being the medium that glues together organisations, supply chains, and customers. Being digital across any channel and any device sits at the core of any winning business strategy. Being the glue that connects also means that technology has moved from being a business support layer to being embedded in or even in itself constituting business processes. The distributed nature of enterprise systems, particularly in supply chains and logistics, has drastically blurred or in many cases even removed the boundary between organisation and ecosystem. The integration of real-time information between organisations, architectures, and their enterprise systems has significantly contributed to the rise of global supply chains. The emergence of cloud has further accelerated this integration by virtualising and consolidating enterprise systems in massive public computing utilities. Before cloud computing gained popularity, the integration of supply chains was primarily constrained by physical constraints in network and data centre capacity. Now that global organisations are co-locating their core enterprise systems in the same public cloud environments, even that boundary has been removed. Limited IT scalability is no longer an inhibitor to growth, at least not if systems are architected properly.
The need for ‘being digital’ is what we call ‘digital’ in itself. Companies are hiring Chief Digital Officers to deliver digital roadmaps in close collaboration with business, marketing and IT. In many ways it seems that digital is reaching the level of decision-making, which IT strategies have always wanted to inform and influence: how to transform the business for the better. Where most IT strategies are more often than not a second effect or afterthought after a business strategy has been approved, digital strategies inform new and pure strategic thinking. They connect and address business, operational, marketing, and technical concerns by taking an outside-in approach starting with the customers, interactions, and channels. As a consequence, being digital is much more than sporadically adopting Twitter for processing customer complaints or publishing a smartphone app — it is about questioning and realising how one can totally transform a business model or an entire supply chain by adopting different technologies, mindsets, and processes. Here comes the need for doing digital strategy rather than orthodox IT-centric IT strategies, plans, and roadmaps.
Beyond IT Strategy is a new book about making the shift from IT-centric to digital business. Like our previous book, we invite all interested authors to submit a chapter as part of the publication. This blog post is the first formal call for chapters.
The overall theme of this book is to uncover the shift from IT to digital strategies, what it means to organisations, and how to bring it into practice. Rather than the typical two-fold distinction between theory and practice adopted by most “pracademic publications”, the book is structured by key business problems, where digital strategies can help, support, and deliver better outcomes. For now, the candidate business problems are (but not limited to):
- Changing and adjusting organisational culture and structure in the age of digital
- Driving demand-driven supply chains in fast moving consumer goods companies
- Omni-channel customer experience and how to connect with the customer across multiple channels, devices, and geographies
- Monetising business capabilities by exposing business processes as a service to third party consumers
- Reducing cost and achieving better value for money in large organisations
- Providing better and more responsive services to citizens across multiple levels of government
- Architecting businesses, enterprises, and IT landscapes in response to digital demand
Apart from these candidate business problems, we are also particularly interested in contributions that explore the relationships between and contemporary challenges within digital strategy and the following themes:
- Enterprise architecture and integration
- IT strategy
- Business process management/reengineering, lean, and six sigma
- Systems science and systems thinking
- Automation and manufacturing
- Telco and over-the-top (OTT) business models
- Supply chain, procurement, and logistics
- Government and e-government
If you are interested in contributing to the book, please get in touch via e-mail (anders AT jensenwaud DOT com) or connect with me on LinkedIn.