The digital journey | Rewrite your business model?

Published: 06 June 2018


George Kalebaila, research director at International Data Corporation (IDC), believes African organisations are aware that taking the digital journey is more than “keeping up”, it’s a business imperative to. However, he says oversimplification of the process and focusing mainly on the front-end or user experience can lead to failure.

Stuart Pearce, managing director of data experts TD Global, concurs: “Organisations must be fully aware of the impact of digitalisation which is why TD Global advises on the various ways in which business models may need to adapt – or be recreated entirely.

“For example, unlocking your data in order to gain value from it also means learning a tremendous amount about your customers. However, for that to be of worth to your business, your data teams and other stakeholders need to understand how, where and when to use that information.”

Pearce advises putting systems in place that can sort data into various levels of value, and then analysed to determine which data is required to meet immediate needs, and which data can be stored for use in later opportunities.

Most importantly, according to Pearce, is understanding precisely what the “job to be done” by your data is before you put it to work. “Make sure your specific required business outcomes are a core part of your written strategy so you can build that into how your data is measured and how this measurement impacts on the broader business. It is not always a simple process, but it is valuable in the short- and long-term.”

Another “must-have”, according to TD Global, is data analysts that are on hand to process information quickly so that you can direct your business towards new opportunities as they become available. “All the data in the world is means little to your organisation if you have to wait months to get the results of your customer analytics before implementing the changes your data is directing you to,” Pearce says, adding that time is critical when you consider the sheer number of competitors in the global marketplace who may be able to answer a consumer call before you can.

“Once you have changed your business model to include your data initiatives and the ability to use the information they provide,” says Pearce, “your staff must be agile and work at the speed determined by digital technology. Its click-of-a-mouse stuff in some instances, and requires your company culture enables your business to keep up.”

To stay ahead of the game, TD Global suggests investing in education and development initiatives so your workforce has a good understanding of rapid changes in the business landscape and is able to deal with them. Staff members also need to be empowered to think like innovators and not data capturers.

“The digital journey sounds very technical because it is,” Pearce asserts, “but it also requires a company-wide cultural change and watchfulness. Having a relationship with a company like TD Global to walk you through the process ensures that your journey towards future-proofing your business brings real-time rewards and ongoing profitability as your data enables your business to flourish, and seek new opportunities for revenue streams.”