Digital Business Strategies and Change Management

By Aliu A. Onifade

While the use of Information Technology (IT) in driving business results in a transformational approach to managing business and organisations (a departure from the traditional functional approach), new perspectives of the role of IT in digital business strategy are emerging (Woodard et al., 2013).

Piccoli and Ives (2005), emphasise the efficiency of IT role in facilitating digital transformation from a digital strategy perspective. A digital strategy is a part of an overall business strategy. Digital strategy aims to improve the organisational and business processes through the use of technology. Most importantly, it helps to make a difference and improve overall business success and performance (Woodard et al., 2013).

Introduction

According to Woodard et al (2013), digital strategy is defined as a pattern of deliberate competitive actions. This provides business organisations the ability to competes, by offering digitally enabled products or services.

Also, the notion of a “the fused view of IS” is currently proposed and pursued by researchers. In fact, IT is considered as an integral part of the entire business processes and the final product (Dhar and Sundararajan, 2007; El Sawy et al., 2010).

Furthermore, digital strategy is categorised as an integral part of a digital transformation process. In addition, this results in the processes and behavioural changes associated with the application of digital transformation in all spheres of human society.

Also, digital strategy and transformation support collaborate and competes at different layers. Especially, these enable the development of new products and services through the combination of the layers.

According to Yoo et al (2010), Pervasive digitalisation of products and services results in a layered modular architecture with loosely coupled layers of devices, networks, services, and contents. Moreover, it is further explained that individual design decisions can be made at an individual layer, irrespective of the other layers.

Change management strategies for digital transformation

Change management is an organized structure of preparing people who are willing and ready to embrace innovative ways of working conditions that are important to the futuristic way of an organization’s performance (OCM, 2020).

These changes might come in a very unique way, that a very tailored strategy will already motivate willing individuals with its set objectives, while other groups of people in doubt of these changes should be automatically encouraged with the implementation of such change.

Of course, having a different view within an organization about change management and the implementation process cannot be overemphasized. However, an effective strategy will bring together the best elements from these sets of different views and thus, promote best practices and understanding among the employee on how they can make efficient change possible (OCM, 2020).

Furthermore, to limit destruction and optimise return on investment (ROI), it is important to promote positive attitudes among the employees. Once achieved, any organisation will have little or no obstacle driving digital transformation forward (OCM, 2020).

The unique properties of management strategy and transformation includes generativity, convergence, and self-referencing. Moreover, this helps to get results in a sustainable digital ecosystem where existing digital technologies are used to build new digital technologies, services, and products (Yoo et al., 2010).

The layered modular architecture offers generativity where products can be easily reprogrammed to provide new services. Enhancements and improvements in the digital technology proliferation of new development platforms, tools, and services that can be employed to further promote digital transformation in business organisations and society. 

Digital business strategies: Private Vs Public Sectors

Certain similarities and differences exist between the digital strategy of the private and public sectors. For both public and private sectors, there exists a compelling technology adoption problem with regards to the deployment, use, and integration of digital technology to achieve organizational strategic priorities.

Implementation and adoption of digital transformation strategy often require a complete overhaul of the processes, structure, and technologies of private and public organizations (Gascó, 2003).

Since the private sector is often more flexible and accommodates changes in the organizational structure required for the successful implementation of new digital strategies (Hofmann and Ogonek, 2018). Hence, the private sector has been more successful than the public sector in the transformation of processes and services through digital transformation.

In the private sector the changes in organisational structures due to strategic priorities are less complicated in comparison to the public sector. Since private sector organisations are more progressive in achieving the set organisational objectives, it is easier to establish an ecosystem that fosters the advancement and use of digital technology compared to the public sector.

Analysis of the singularity aspects of the technical competence required for the adaptation and implementation of digital technology in private sectors has been studied and presented in the work by Kaiser (2004).

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article explores the digital strategy adopted for the digitalization of operative processes. There are many factors and unforeseen circumstances that could significantly alter the strategy of digital business and change management.

Part of these factors may include the human factor, as well as the availability of technology for the intended digitalisation and transformation of processes. Thus, during the process of planning and implementation phases of a project, there can be further improvement when these factors are best put to use.

Bibliography

Dhar, V., & Sundararajan, A. (2007). Issues and Opinions – Information Technologies in Business: A Blueprint for Education and Research. Inf. Syst. Res., 18, 125-141. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1070.0126

El Sawy, O.A., Malhotra, A., Park, Y., Pavlou, P.A., 2010. Research Commentary—Seeking the Configurations of Digital Ecodynamics: It Takes Three to Tango. Information Systems Research 21, 835–848. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1100.0326

Gascó, M., 2003. New Technologies and Institutional Change in Public Administration. Social Science Computer Review 21, 6–14. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439302238967

Hofmann, S., Ogonek, N., 2018. Different But Still The Same? How Public And Private Sector Organisations Deal with New Digital Competences 16, 10.

Kaiser S. (2004) Qualification Requirements in e-Government: The Need for Information Systems in Public Administration Education. In: Traunmüller R. (eds) Electronic Government. EGOV 2004. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 3183. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-30078-6_80

The bullwhip effect: Progress, trends and directions

Organizational change management. (2020). Discover Why Organizational Change Management Is Critical to Digital Transformation, 1–12. https://www.perficient.com/-/media/files/guide-pdf-links/discover-why-organizational-change-management-is-critical-to-digital-transformation.pdf Accessed on 1.12.2020

Piccoli, G., Ives, B., 2005. Review: IT-Dependent Strategic Initiatives and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature. MIS Quarterly 29, 747–776. https://doi.org/10.2307/25148708

Woodard, C., Ramasubbu, N., Tschang, F.T., & Sambamurthy, V. (2013). Design Capital and Design Moves: The Logic of Digital Business Strategy. MIS Q., 37, 537-564. https://doi.org/10.25300/MISQ%2F2013%2F37.2.10

Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O., Lyytinen, K., 2010. Research Commentary —The New Organizing Logic of Digital Innovation: An Agenda for Information Systems Research. Information Systems Research 21, 724–735. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1100.0322