|www.ebbemunk.dkUnleashing the Killer App|
The future arrives so quickly that the designers of Disney's Tomorrowland have given up. They can't build an environment that doesn't look stale before it's opened, so they've decided to go backwards. Gone are the rocket ships to Mars, the House of Tomorrow, the PeopleMover, and the Carousel of Progress. The new Tomorrowland looks like a nineteenth-century fantasy of today, heavily cribbed from Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. It's a "classic future environment," as Disney puts it, tongue firmly in cheek.
The new forces have given all of us a chronic case of future shock. Individuals, so far, have proven themselves to be pretty adaptable, but what about organizations? As the market becomes more efficient, and does so more quickly than organizations, how can you break the mold and turn the future from a threat into an opportunity?
In Part 2, we presented a set of principles designed to drive planning in the digital age. Applying these principles will help to identify killer apps that take you out of the past and into the future. To succeed with digital strategy and to be able to unleash killer apps continually, you've got to go further. You need, as David Reed says, "to live in the future, not just visit it." Living in the future means making digital strategy your operating model— the strategy must be so well integrated into the culture of your organization that it becomes indistinguishable from manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales, and administration.
In this third and last part of the book, we describe how organizations can make the transition from digital strategy explorers to integrated digital enterprises and, in particular, how the role of senior executives changes in the process. We begin by taking you inside two organizations, one a leading consumer brand and the other a large industrial conglomerate, to see how the process of developing a digital strategy worked and didn't work the first time through. We then describe the process these two organizations followed in more general terms.
As a framework, we present the seven-step process used by Diamond Technology Partners (see Figure 3.A). In the context of this process, the early charter of a digital strategy project is to teach the organization how to think about its future, including the experiments with technologies and partners it must begin today. We describe how organizations start the process by discarding old organizational baggage about the proper role of technology and partnerships. We also prescribe a series of readiness activities that raise senior executive awareness, placing digital strategy squarely and permanently on the executive agenda.