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Anatomy of a Digital Forerunner

The dreams of yesterday are rapidly becoming the realities of tomorrow. In this digital world, technology is evolving fast. However, with all this evolution, comes the difficulty of keeping up. In an article for Bain and Company, Elizabeth Spaulding, Sarah Dey Burton, and Greg Caimi explore the attributes that are setting digital forerunners apart from those simply in the race. There are five qualities forerunners embody:

  1. Vision of change
  2. Commitment to understanding the customer
  3. Integrated customer experience
  4. Speed
  5. New capabilities

The forerunners have developed a vision for change and disruption of traditional digital technology. These companies are making innovation the foremost item on their agenda. In order to accomplish this well, consider where your company is on the digital matrix shared at the full article. This matrix allows for companies to see where there may be opportunities.

Customers can sometimes be difficult to understand, and it is something that companies often struggle with. Forerunners, however, are capitalizing on big data and gaining more insight on their customers with this “smart view.” Companies nowadays have a surplus of data about customers. The trick is to bring all of the data together to create one picture of each customer. Advanced analytics help to understand customer needs. Companies need to move away from the one-to-many mindset and focus on more one-on-one interactions.

Customers want to connect with a company without any adversity. Digital forerunners recognize this and strive to deliver the most relevant and differentiated customer experience possible. Likewise, leadership in forerunner companies encourages a company that takes risks and experiments with innovative ideas. They are willing to learn from their failures and quickly move towards the correct solution.

Incorporating all of these great ideas often requires the company to realign. The forerunners are able to break past traditional roles and encourage interactions amongst teams like never before. This often demands that a senior manager is able to adequately direct people and assemble resources well.

Digital forerunners uses these qualities to guide them, but they also never wait for definitive answers about how to do all of them.

You can read the original article here: http://bain.com/publications/articles/anatomy-of-a-digital-forerunner.aspx

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