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Software and Digitization Are Leading Business Transformation

December 3, 2015 - 10 Comments

Companies are embracing the idea of the digital enterprise as an “inevitable movement toward a ‘digital center’ in which business models, offerings and value chains are digitized to the maximum extent possible.” Digitization offers promising prospects for improved customer experience, closer employee engagement, and more agile IT and business operations. And software innovation is at the heart of what makes it all happen.

Just what is digitization? At its simplest level, digitization is about bringing together connected things and processes through automation and analytics to provide new insights and value. It can be offering a traditional service in a new online and interconnected way such as mobile banking. Or it can be offering an entirely new service based on unique insight harnessed from a network of devices, or from an active series of transactions, such as an early-warning fraud-alert service. As consumers, we experience the benefits of digitization every day in the many mobile and online apps we use.

And this trend is behind the emergence of new companies built on digitization that have quickly risen to multi-billion dollar valuations. Tom Goodwin of TechCrunch writes:

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

What all of these companies have in common is a digitized business model that allows them to deliver a new level of customer experience through innovation in software. Winning companies will delight and amaze their customers. Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.

Through software, Cisco can help companies take advantage of these opportunities. Cisco Collaboration and Cisco ONE mobility software for example can help a retailer deliver an unparalleled customer experience. Let’s say a shopper is using her smartphone to browse a retailer’s web site. Cisco software innovation enables “Click to chat” with video capabilities so she can get personalized, live help in making a decision. And with Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX), the retailer can better understand the shopper’s exact preferences and profile to help them locate the closest store that carries the item, generate promotions, etc.

Shopping is just one of the many areas in which winning businesses are continually blurring the physical and digital boundaries. Please join the discussion and let me know if there are areas in your business that you’ve digitized successfully, and if you have others in the works.



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  1. It’s good post thanks

  2. Nice read! quick question, is your digitization at same level or meaning same as digitalization? Where can we place digitalization, as the process of digitization of business models and offerings or it’s the outcome? Or please explain as different use is creating a gaps in crystallizing the tenants of both.

    • Emmanuel,

      Great question. I see the terms being used interchangeably but I think the better use is as you suggest. Digitization referring to the representation of a signal or item in a digital form and “digitalization” referring to the use of digital technologies to a change in business model providing new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.

  3. Latest IDC prediction is stating that by the end of 2017, two thirds of the CEOs of the G2000 enterprises will have digital transformation (DX) at the center of their corporate strategy.

  4. David,

    Great point. I completely agree that digitization needs to be on every CEO strategy agenda…reinforces the observation that “every company is a digital company”—every company needs to consider their digital opportunity or at least the disruption that is coming to their segment.


  5. You said “What all of these companies have in common is a digitized business model that allows them to deliver a new level of customer experience through innovation in software.” — While the digital-first start-ups and the eCommerce giants are most often mentioned as examples of digitization leadership, I’m also encouraged by the more traditional companies, such as GE, that have dared to re-imagine their industry and their company’s core business model. My point: a bold digital transformation project should be on every CEO’s strategy agenda for 2016.