When a health insurance company launches an app that allows members to print their insurance card or refill prescriptions, the outcome is digital business optimization that improves the existing business. But if that same company launches a telehealth arm, its ambition would be toward digital business transformation through a fully digitized product. Whether the end goal is to optimize or transform, organizations need a digital business technology platform (DBTP) to enable it.
Download now: Building a Digital Business Technology Platform
A DBTP provides the architecture to interlace and orchestrate five overlapping technology sub-platforms critical to digital business. The five include: information systems; customer engagement; data and analytics; Internet of Things (IoT); and partner ecosystems.
With a DBTP architecture to connect and integrate these distinct digital capabilities, organizations are able to sense activity from stakeholders — such as customers, partners, internal employees or things — decide what to do about it, and act on the information.
In the case of a health insurance company, incoming data might calculate that the member is nearly out of medication (sense) and renew the prescription (decide and act), or it might sense through a personal fitness device that a member is having a health issue (sense) and suggest a telehealth appointment (decide and act). Both use cases require a different set of applications and tools, yet they all integrate with and flow through a DBTP.
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But how do you build one? You’ll need a clear digital ambition: are you trying to optimize what you already do or transform it? Digital business leaders also need to set clear expectations. Building a DBTP is a long-term, multiphase project that depends on consistent iteration to scale and improve to keep relevant. Once the ambition and vision are in place, digital business leaders can work through the following 10 steps.
10 Steps to Building a Digital Business Technology Platform
1. Vision and capabilities. The organization’s digital ambitions translate into a digital vision and supporting capabilities for delivering value to customers. You’ll need to decide on the capabilities, the order in which you plan to develop them and the timeline over which you’ll progress. Sequencing helps set the expectation that this is a long-term, multi-part journey, the first major destination along which is a minimum viable product (MVP) that demonstrates progress and allows you to test that the DBTP works.
2. Sequenced goals. Define the diverse metrics to measure success. Some will be traditional enterprise key performance indicators that quantify operational or financial performance improvement; others will be digital business metrics that indicate progress toward the organization’s ambitions.