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The Role of Digital Thinking | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #DigitalTransformation

Differences between leaders and laggards

Digital leaders think differently about the role and value of digital technologies, including the ability of these tools to enable competitive advantage in the form of revenue growth, and positively impact work and jobs. As a result, leaders are developing more aggressive technology plans and strategies than digital laggards.

The military strategist Colonel John Boyd wrote that success depends on three things, 1) People, 2) Ideas, and 3) Things, in that order.  People have to be trained to think and do the right things, using the right ideas (doctrines, strategies and tactics) and then utilize the best things (equipment, materials, design, etc.) that you can.  In my new report, "How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards," we focus on the differences in thinking between leaders and laggards.

Here are some of our key findings:

  1. Digital commerce outpaces brick-and mortar. Already a significant retail driver, digital commerce is predicted to increase in importance by 68% for surveyed retailers between now and 2020. This trend has motivated many retailers to invest strategically in digital technologies.
  2. Digital leaders outperform digital laggards. There is a correlation between companies with strong revenue growth and digital leadership, and retailers with a higher percentage of online sales. Companies that have experienced early digital commerce success are also likely to express a more positive outlook on the value of digital technologies to the overall business.
  3. Retailers don't know if they are winning the race. Many retailers find it difficult to evaluate their relative digital maturity and how they compare with competitors.
  4. Digital leaders think differently about the role and value of digital technologies, including the ability of these tools to enable competitive advantage in the form of revenue growth, and positively impact work and jobs. As a result, leaders are developing more aggressive technology plans and strategies than digital laggards.
  5. Digital technologies will transform jobs in positive ways. Digital leaders believe digital technologies will help them increase efficiency, manage people better, work faster, be more creative and innovative, make better decisions, boost freedom and flexibility, and even help them make more money by 2020.
  6. Digital leaders believe digital technologies will have a big impact on work by 2020. Far more so than laggards, digital leaders believe work will be significantly impacted by technologies such as business analytics and artificial intelligence. They are simultaneously concerned about data security and privacy, bots, new regulations on digital businesses and hyper-connectivity of people and things.
  7. Retailers with very strong revenue growth have different opinions than moderate growth retailers as to which skills will be needed by 2020. The biggest differences in opinions are in the areas of fabrication, verbal and written communications, and language and design skills.

What are the ideas that Colonel John Boyd spoke about?  I need you to help me identify those good ideas for digital strategies by taking a short 5-minute digital strategy survey . I am giving a copy of the book, "What to Do When Machines Do Everything," to the first 50 people in North America to complete the survey.

Download my latest report, "How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards."

Watch the 3-minute video on digital thinking in retail.

Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.