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Can you survive the wild digital revolution like Bear Grylls survives the wild outdoors?

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Wild Digital Transformation

You might equate the dangers that Bear Grylls sees in his travels with today’s business environment. And, just as Bear has equipped himself with skills to endure the most rugged terrain, today’s successful leaders in digital transformation have outfitted themselves with business architecture. They see it as a company survival strategy because it helps them build the capabilities their company needs to prevail through the digital revolution.

Consider that between 2000 and 2014, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 went bankrupt, were acquired or ceased to exist.1 Granted, times were tough for all businesses during the recession. Even so, half of the Fortune 500 disappearing in 14 years ?

During that time, the digital revolution exploded and the pace of change in the business world shattered all previous experiences. Business transformation caught the attention of executives as the key to survive this phenomenon.

Much of what’s driving business transformation today is the customer journey … the different ways that companies and their customers interact, especially when technology is the primary agent between them.

Every company takes each customer on a journey that begins with brand awareness and (hopefully) continues through a purchase and beyond. And just as Bear’s journey might take a disastrous turn if he doesn’t use proven survival skills every step of the way, companies can make serious missteps as customers connect with them.  If each customer touch point along the journey doesn’t deliver the very best experience, customers can fall by the wayside.

Today, companies are rolling out business transformation initiatives to gain market share, increase revenues, decrease costs and eliminate risks … and these efforts are all aimed at improving the customer experience.

But, how do companies achieve an effective business transformation to survive the digital revolution and become the kind of enterprise that creates loyal, high-value, repeat-purchase customers?

Most digital transformation programs don’t start from scratch; they build on a company’s existing business practices, processes and IT resources. One of the fundamental first steps in transformation is gaining a working understanding of the structure of your company … its processes, resources, information and risks … and how they interact with and affect each other.

That’s where business architecture comes in, to help you:

  • understand all of the elements within your enterprise
  • map existing capabilities and determine those needed for the future
  • build and evaluate transformation options
  • define your strategic roadmap

We’ve seen that Bear makes very smart choices when he’s in the wild. Well, starting your digital transformation with business architecture is one of the smartest choices you’ll ever make. Business architecture will help you assess your current situation and identify the key drivers of change. You can then understand future market direction and better equip your company to outlast competitors who may not be as well prepared to improve their customers’ experience.

Whether summiting Mt. Everest, crossing the Atlantic in an inflatable or trekking across the scorching Sahara, Bear Grylls has learned a great many lessons, none more important than one on the rapids of a Sumatran jungle river, “… you only get it wrong once.

I wonder if that’s what the executives of those 250+ Fortune 500 companies (you know … the ones who didn’t opt for business architecture) were thinking as they filed for bankruptcy or watched their firm be sold to another enterprise.


1Constellation Research, Research Summary: Sneak Peeks from Constellation’s Futurist Framework and 2014 Outlook on Digital Disruption, February 2014

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You might equate the dangers that Bear Grylls sees in his travels with today’s business environment. And, just as Bear has equipped himself with skills to endure the most rugged terrain, today’s successful leaders in digital transformation have outfitted themselves with business architecture. They see it as a company survival strategy because it helps them build the capabilities their company needs to prevail through the digital revolution.

Consider that between 2000 and 2014, 52% of companies in the Fortune 500 went bankrupt, were acquired or ceased to exist.1 Granted, times were tough for all businesses during the recession. Even so, half of the Fortune 500 disappearing in 14 years ?

During that time, the digital revolution exploded and the pace of change in the business world shattered all previous experiences. Business transformation caught the attention of executives as the key to survive this phenomenon.

Much of what’s driving business transformation today is the customer journey … the different ways that companies and their customers interact, especially when technology is the primary agent between them.

Every company takes each customer on a journey that begins with brand awareness and (hopefully) continues through a purchase and beyond. And just as Bear’s journey might take a disastrous turn if he doesn’t use proven survival skills every step of the way, companies can make serious missteps as customers connect with them.  If each customer touch point along the journey doesn’t deliver the very best experience, customers can fall by the wayside.

Today, companies are rolling out business transformation initiatives to gain market share, increase revenues, decrease costs and eliminate risks … and these efforts are all aimed at improving the customer experience.

But, how do companies achieve an effective business transformation to survive the digital revolution and become the kind of enterprise that creates loyal, high-value, repeat-purchase customers?

Most digital transformation programs don’t start from scratch; they build on a company’s existing business practices, processes and IT resources. One of the fundamental first steps in transformation is gaining a working understanding of the structure of your company … its processes, resources, information and risks … and how they interact with and affect each other.

That’s where business architecture comes in, to help you:

  • understand all of the elements within your enterprise
  • map existing capabilities and determine those needed for the future
  • build and evaluate transformation options
  • define your strategic roadmap

We’ve seen that Bear makes very smart choices when he’s in the wild. Well, starting your digital transformation with business architecture is one of the smartest choices you’ll ever make. Business architecture will help you assess your current situation and identify the key drivers of change. You can then understand future market direction and better equip your company to outlast competitors who may not be as well prepared to improve their customers’ experience.

Whether summiting Mt. Everest, crossing the Atlantic in an inflatable or trekking across the scorching Sahara, Bear Grylls has learned a great many lessons, none more important than one on the rapids of a Sumatran jungle river, “… you only get it wrong once.

I wonder if that’s what the executives of those 250+ Fortune 500 companies (you know … the ones who didn’t opt for business architecture) were thinking as they filed for bankruptcy or watched their firm be sold to another enterprise.


1Constellation Research, Research Summary: Sneak Peeks from Constellation’s Futurist Framework and 2014 Outlook on Digital Disruption, February 2014