Could a company successful today go bankrupt tomorrow? What a funny question! There are dozens of such stories. Nothing surprises us in the morning headlines dedicated to business news: companies that until recently, as celestials, sat atop the business Olympus, suddenly wind up. Common reasons are non-compliance of their products with customer expectations, critical defects in the production process, fraud, or severe reputational damage.
Sad story or true story?
Sooner or later, everybody's going to go bankrupt—that's how people say. We are not pessimists but realists. Only those who can change, seize new markets, and automate as many processes as possible, can stay afloat.
In short, the future belongs to companies that are not afraid of transformation—especially digital transformation.
However, even the world's giants do not delude themselves: for example, the Amazon CEO is already preparing his employees for future bankruptcy. There is no reason to think that the largest global online retailer has any problems. It opens new headquarters in Arlington and New York but monitors the "failure stories" of its colleagues. Namely, large retail chains that have already gone bankrupt.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and the leader of the Bloomberg billionaire ranking, believes that the average lifetime of a large company is about 30 years. After that, it will either have to go through serious changes or... become nothing. Only a few can last longer—50, 60, or 100 years. The keys to success are fundamental changes and staff involvement. When people do not resist but take an active part in digital transformation, its success becomes guaranteed. It also works in vice versa: the more the company is afraid of change, the more vulnerable it becomes.
What about some cybernetic augmentations?
In which direction should you change, and how? We recommend you to discuss this issue and develop a long-term strategy with your colleagues—business development specialists, auditors, analysts—or external integrators and consultants.
The sources of inspiration are in plain view: everyone has heard examples of successful "augmented" enterprises, which are both IT companies and, say, retailers, industrial enterprises, or banks.
The current automotive industry leaders declare that they are developing digital services to the fullest extent. They plan the transition to the Car-as-a-Service business model in the early 2020s. 5-10 years more, and you will enjoy Mobility-as-a-Service, implying the use of different transport even beyond the country borders. Let's wait! It would be very convenient.
Another, more specific, example is the Russian network Dodo Pizza. You have probably heard of it or personally visited at least one of the 80 pizzerias that can be found in six countries today. However, pizza is only the facade. The main product is the franchise based on the Dodo IS information system. This is an in-house development implemented as a site, with which franchise partners can work as a SaaS service.
Dodo Pizza offers a three-in-one combo to its franchisees: the IT system, the business technologies, and the brand. The cloud-based information system shows the critical business metrics in the 24\7 mode, which provides transparency and increases business productivity.
Digital transformation is successful when:
- Top managers actively support it, and staff members are motivated and aware of the importance of change;
- There is a planned test period that can be compared to a "trial balloon"—a demo that will allow the customer to assess whether the company really needs to transform this process;
- The top managers transform the business based on real problems and not on personal reasons;
- The company has trusted transformation partners who can also take responsibility for its implementation.
So do you want to revitalize your business? Then transform, make new profits, and tell your success stories!