Building Physical and Digital Competencies for Enterprise Growth|Sasken

  May 3, 2017 2:17:54 PM

Change is the only constant and it is our only way forward; probably this is why we have been constantly digitizing almost everything we consume. Compact discs (CDs) took over the traditional audio cassettes back in the early 90s and since we have been storing and listening to music in the digital format. Our books have become eBooks. Online content channels stream our favorite TV shows and movies on a single click.

Today, businesses and enterprises have started adopting digitization to deliver enhanced customer experiences. By adopting an extremely data-driven approach, these companies are able to design and constantly fine-tune the customer experience.

But does that mean a digital change is the only way to fight industrial disruption? No. Merely embracing the change wouldn’t help enterprises ace the race. A strong technology background, an in-depth understanding of physical as well as digital competencies, and finally leveraging the digital assets would account for a well-equipped structure.

NikeiD can be looked upon as a great example of building physical and digital competencies for enterprise growth. Nike CEO, Mark Parker says, “In a world of rapid disruption, having a core competency–that is, an intrinsic set of skills required to thrive in certain markets–is an outmoded principle of business.” Pinned under the concept of NikeiD, Nike, in the previous decade, transformed its production lines from batched to agile, in order to address customers' personalized demands. As a result, NikeiD contributed to about 22% of the company’s total revenue in the following quarter. From shoes to software, Nike made it possible through building a strong technology framework and leveraging connectivity, thereby proving that enterprises need to redefine their products and value proposition by infusing more digitization into their current physical competencies to bring about significant growth.

A rapid integration of the digital world into physical work is the current trend. Businesses see it as the quickest way to boost productivity and effectiveness. Boeing makes use of virtual-reality glasses so that their factory workers, while assembling its 747 aircraft, consult manuals less frequently. The Amazon warehouse robots are yet another example of charting experiences where physical meets digital. The online retailer deploys an army of wheeled robots that retrieve shelves of products for employees to prepare for shipping. These robots come equipped with motion sensors to detect objects in their way, thus quickly helping workers get what they need. Amazon recorded a 20% cut in operation expenses last year, which roughly translated to $22 million in cost savings.

Organizations need to strike the right balance between leveraging physical and digital competencies in order to perfect the blend of physical and digital experiences. For enterprise growth, businesses must identify and create a physical world with digital characteristics so as to expand and leave a mark in their journey towards the future.

Author: Ashish Mital, AVP-Digital Platform, Digital Transformation Services

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