The Four Pillars of Digital Excellence

In my last blog, Business Model Evolution Surpasses Focus on Technology, I mentioned Four Pillars to IoT Success explored during a recent webcast conducted by CSG and Light Reading. Though these pillars are directly relevant to IoT, they are equally so for any business participating in the digital economy. Maybe more apt a title is The Four Pillars to Digital Excellence and Sustained Success in the Digital Economy.


The digital economy is a vast world that is as open-ended as its name implies. And though ‘smart’ and ‘connected’ everything is already entering mainstream, we are just at the edge of another technology revolution—often referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution—that will again change how we live, work, play and move in ways we can’t even yet imagine. This evolution is driving organizations to grapple with the best approaches to enter and monetize today’s digital economy, and position oneself for success in a world that is yet to come.


This is where the Four Pillars become a guide for the digital world. Luckily, you do not need to address the Pillars all at once. They become the checks-and-balance as organizations look to continually assess and advance their position in the digital economy.


The descriptions given with each Pillar below provide a glimpse into the challenges organizations face within each of those areas…and all are critical for continued success in the digital economy.

The Right Business Model—Becoming digital is not simply about taking existing products or customer interactions and experiences and putting them online. Enduring success in the digital economy means fundamentally rethinking how business is conducted today. Requiring a complete 180⁰ from how most companies currently structure, strategize, operate, compete and deliver products and services to market to align with the fickle digital customer’s expectations for digital services—on demand access to what they want, anytime, anywhere, and on any device.



The Right Partners—Businesses that work together with digital partners across industry borders achieve far beyond what any individual business could do on its own in the ever-changing digital world. The sharing of knowledge and unique experiences to develop new applications, products and services will become essential. As will partnering with those that may also be your fiercest competitor.



The Right Technology—Not all platforms are created equal, and that will become painfully evident to those that don’t choose wisely. To remain competitive, solutions must be SaaS, must run in the cloud, and must be a platform with the ability to unify and streamline increasingly complex operations. Now and in the future.


The Right Mindset—Providing evolved customer experiences regardless of who those customers are—from consumers, to vendors, to partners, to the latter ‘B’ in B2B—is vital to digital success, but it’s only half the equation. A digital culture must also be integrated at all levels of the organization to instill the mentality of agility and continuous learning the digital economy demands. If either tip the scale too far in their direction, balance will be lost, and customers will be soon to follow.


In a series of blogs, I will delve into each Pillar and the value they provide—both individually and collectively—in tackling the growing complexity of doing business today as digital ecosystems become more connected and complex.  Stay tuned for my next blog and in the meantime, visit our collection of thoughts on digital transformation.