Think e-Business Design, Not Just Technology

The reason for the success of many organizations is their ability to use state-of-the-art technology to transform themselves. They do three things well as follows:-

  1. Redefine value for their customers

  2. Build powerful e-business designs that outperform the competition

  3. Understand customer priorities and consistently raise customer expectations to new heights.

Companies that succeed in doing these three things are practicing technology management in its highest form: creating new e-business designs. In other words, they are using business designs that leverage emerging trends before the rest of the world catches on.

The focus is no longer limited to process design: it’s shifted to business design. Innovation in business design is gathering momentum with e-commerce. Consider the case of retail drug stores. Retailers CVS, Walgreen and Rite Aid are suddenly facing competition from Internet startups such as Drugstore.com and Soma.com which sell over-the-counter medicines, medical supplies and prescription drugs. The race to become amazom.com of health care is on. Established companies are responding by revamping their business models. Now, members of Merck-Medco Managed Care, which handles prescriptions for more than 51 million consumers, can refill their orders electronically. Walgreen customers can also order refills on the Web, and Rite Aid not only offers online refills but also uses the Web to remind its customers when their prescriptions are due to be refilled.

Success depends on how quickly companies can formulate novel business designs and adapt them to their markets. Business designs are strategic weapons in the digital economy. In an environment in which multiple variables – technology, customer requirements, supply chains are changing simultaneously, the old weapons of differentiation – low cost, quality and incremental process improvement – are of little hope for sustaining growth. The business design dimension has now become the core part of corporate strategy.