This article uses the findings of surveys and interviews conducted on business professionals, government executives, and customers to provide practical ways to prepare for the shift in digital transformation, from the current individual-centered approach to the fast-approaching everyone-to-everyone (E2E) model. The article provides important information on the characteristics of digital transformation (flexibility, holistic integration, customization, and responsiveness) and aspects of the E2E economy (hyper-connectedness and collaboration).
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According to the authors, the shift in digital transformation is being triggered by technological disruption (e.g., social media explosion, the mobile revolution, analytics, and cloud enablement), the emergence of new ecosystems that cut across multiple organizations and functions, increased fragmentation of value chains, the convergence of industries, intelligence sharing, and increased connectivity and interactivity (Berman and Marshall 9-13).
The guiding principles for E2E economy formulated by the authors include the ability of organizations to provide optimal customer experiences through the right partnerships, capacity to use contextual and predictive analytics to generate customer value, and capability of organizations to balance their critical intellectual capital with the need to achieve integration into dynamic and flexible business ecosystems (Berman and Marshall 14).
One of the foremost strengths of the article is its capacity to integrate most of the elements associated with digital transformation into easily understandable frameworks and graphs. Additionally, the authors do an excellent job of connecting the various customer-, organization-, and technical-level components of digital transformation (e.g., digital mobilization, collaboration, responsiveness to customer needs, and data analytics) to the ongoing shift in digital transformation.
This connection provides a holistic picture of the major ingredients needed by businesses to adopt and implement the E2E economy. One can agree with these assertions as they are consistent with the findings of other studies showing that digital transformation is influenced by factors such as disruptive technologies, customer experiences and behavior, and big data.
A third strength relates to the clear and coherent nature in which the authors discuss their central arguments on the shift from the customer-centricity paradigm to the E2E economy. Upon reading the article, one is able to clearly understand that factors such as hyper-connectivity, collaboration, adoption of disruptive technology, and reliance on big market data are necessary ingredients in making the needed switch to E2E digital transformation.
This is quite agreeable based on the current trends being witnessed in the business environment, though the authors should have done more to identify which of these factors are most relevant to business organizations. Another key strength is hinged on the use of practical case studies to reinforce their arguments on how supply chains and organizational ecosystems are going to change with the adoption of the E2E economy.
Their argument that supply chains will fragment and new ecosystems will emerge is credible based on the observation that leading global organizations have already started to share supply value chains and develop complex interdependencies with the view to creating and allocating more business value.
In weaknesses, it is evident that the article does not show how the data collected from the field is used to arrive at the practical implications. This deficit may trigger credibility issues related to the authenticity of some of the arguments. Additionally, the methodology section is vaguely described and the authors do not demonstrate how they have used secondary sources of information to back or justify their claims. Such a study, in my view, should clearly define its research design, provide information on how data was collected, and offer a balanced critical analysis of existing literature to justify claims. Lastly, the article lacks logical consistency due to the many headings and subheadings used, making it difficult to follow through.
Berman, Saul and Anthony Marshall. “The Next Digital Transformation: From an Individual-Centered to an Everyone-to-Everyone Economy.” Strategy & Leadership. 42.5 (2014): 9-17. Emerald. Web.