Every business began before the Internet now faces the same challenge: How to transform to compete in a digital economy?

Globally recognized digital expert David Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. Based on Rogers’s decade of research and teaching at Columbia Business School, and his consulting for businesses around the world, The Digital Transformation Playbook shows how pre-digital-era companies can reinvigorate their game plans and capture the new opportunities of the digital world like Hokuapps. You can take a look about Hokuapps Review.

Britannica understood that customers’ behaviors were changing dramatically with the adoption of new technologies. Rather than trying to defend its old business model, the company’s leaders sought to understand the needs of its core customers—home users and educational institutions, increasingly in the K–12 markets. Britannica experimented with various delivery media, price points, and sales channels for its products. But, significantly, it maintained a focus on its core mission: editorial quality and educational service. With this focus, it was able not only to pivot to a purely online subscription model for its encyclopedia but also to develop new and related product offerings to meet the evolving needs for classroom curricula and learning.

Let’s take a closer look at that world

Five Domains of Strategy That Digital Is Changing:

Digital technologies have changed our world perhaps most significantly in how we think about data. In traditional businesses, data was expensive to obtain, difficult to store, and utilized in organizational silos. Just managing this data required that massive IT systems be purchased and maintained (think of the enterprise resource planning systems required just to track inventory from a factory in Thailand to goods sold at a mall in Kansas City). Today, data is being generated at an unprecedented rate—not just by companies but by everyone.


The first domain of digital transformation is customers. In traditional theory, customers were seen as aggregate actors to be marketed to and persuaded to buy. The prevailing model of mass markets focused on achieving efficiencies of scale through mass production (make one product to serve as many customers as possible) and mass communication (use a consistent message and medium to reach and persuade as many customers as possible at the same time).

This is forcing businesses to rethink their traditional marketing funnel and reexamine their customers’ path to purchase, which may skip from using social networks, search engines, mobile screens, or laptops, to walking into a store, to asking for customer service in a live online chat. Rather than seeing customers only as targets for selling, businesses need to recognize that a dynamic, networked customer may just be the best focus group, brand champion, or innovation partner they will ever find. Take a look of this Hokuapps Review.


The second domain of digital transformation is competition: how businesses compete and cooperate with other firms. Traditionally, competition and cooperation were seen as binary opposites: businesses competed with rival businesses that looked very much like themselves, and they cooperated with supply chain partners who distributed their goods or provided needed inputs for their production.

The net result of these changes is a major shift in the locus of competition. Rather than a zero-sum battle between similar rivals, competition is increasingly jockeying for influence between firms with very different business models, each seeking to gain more leverage in serving the Ultimate consumer.


The next domain of digital transformation is data: how businesses produce, manage, and utilize information. Traditionally, data was produced through a variety of planned measurements (from customer surveys to inventories) that were conducted within a business’s own processes—manufacturing, operations, sales, marketing. The resulting data was used mainly for evaluating, forecasting, and decision making.

These “big data” tools allow firms to make new kinds of predictions, uncover unexpected patterns in business activity, and unlock new sources of value. Rather than being confined to the province of specific business intelligence units, data is becoming the lifeblood of every department and a strategic asset to be developed and deployed over time. Data is a vital part of how every business operates, differentiates itself in the market, and generates new value.


The fourth domain of digital transformation is innovation: the process by which new ideas are developed, tested and brought to the market by businesses. Traditionally, innovation was managed with a singular focus on the finished product. Because market testing was difficult and costly, most decisions on new innovations were based on the analysis and intuition of managers. The cost of failure was high, so avoiding failure was paramount.

This new approach to innovation is focused on careful experiments and on minimum viable prototypes that maximize learning while minimizing cost. Assumptions are repeatedly tested, and design decisions are made based on validation by real customers. In this approach, products are developed iteratively through a process that saves time, reduces the cost of failures, and improves organizational learning.


The final domain of digital transformation is the value a business delivers to its customers—its value proposition. Traditionally, a firm’s value proposition was seen as fairly constant. Products may be updated, marketing campaigns refreshed, or operations improved, but the basic value a business offered to its customers was assumed to be constant and defined by its industry (e.g., car companies offer transportation, safety, comfort, and status, in varying degrees). A successful business was one that had a clear value proposition, found a point of market differentiation (e.g., price or branding), and focused on executing and delivering the best version of the same value proposition to its customers year after year.

A Playbook for Digital Transformation

Faced with transformation in each of these five domains, businesses today clearly need new frameworks for formulating their own strategies to successfully adapt and grow in the digital age.

Author's Bio: 

I am an Entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. I would like to write in-depth guides and case studies that teach users to guide mobile application development to grow and scale there business.