What is Digital Business?

Companies today see the necessity to go digital or be left behind in the dust. There is no room for sitting on the fence or waiting for a better day. It is not difficult jumping on the bandwagon, but knowing what direction to drive your business is the question.

Many executives and senior management members vary in how they define digital and what that means for their company. For some, digital is all about technology and others will believe it is an act in engaging with customers in an entirely new that has never been done before. Ask and you will find that digital can also mean completely overhauling the way in which a business operates.

There are so many interpretations that one cannot say that any particular answer is incorrect. It is not a question of right and wrong, but rather knowing a company is being driven by a singular digital vision. To be effective in whatever digital business strategy a company adopts, the entire enterprise must be aligned to the objective and have a common scope of what needs to be accomplished to ascertain the company’s goals.

“Business leaders must have a clear and common understanding of what exactly digital means for their business.”i

How should we define digital business?

According to Forbes, digital business is the creation of new business strategies that distort the line between the digital and physical world. It helps to bring together individuals, businesses, and things, intelligently changing the way we view traditional business models and look for new and innovative solutions.ii Even those ideas that were born recently may need to evolve to become something more. E-commerce and being online are not enough anymore.

Digital has become less of a “thing” and is now thought to be more of a way of doing things. The Internet of Things and digital business have come together to change the way society functions.

For example, in the retail sector, digital business could be witnessed when a woman goes into a dressing room to try on a skirt. While the woman tries the garment on for size the store’s system registers her activity. Potentially, with the right technology, a screen could be displayed in the fitting room with the woman wearing the selection she has made and offering an accompanying blouse and accessories to complete her look visually placing the items in front of her. The customer’s price limitations could also be factored into the selection displayed or options could be made available at varying price points. This is what digital business could evolve into, but how do we get there, if it is not already being done?

There are three attributes McKinsey&Company outline in their article, What does ‘digital’ really mean.iii These attributes are:

1. Creating value for both the customer and the company on the new front of business

This could be seen by creating new products that effectively change the way people essentially navigate their daily lives. It could also mean developing new businesses in adjacent categories or identifying and going after new value pools in already existing sectors by monitoring customer behaviors and their expectations inside or outside the business in order to create a new user persona.

2. Creating value, enhancing the customer experience

Customer service is remarkable. It can either make or break a business. Improving how customers are served through digital business by designing new capabilities and delivering the best possibly experience across all aspects of business can line your business up for success. For instance, look at supply chain management and how it is critical to develop flexible, efficient, and quick delivery methods and operations to deliver the right product effectively to the consumer meeting and/or exceeding their expectations.

Being digitally oriented regarding customer service does not mean that a company provides a one-off experience and moves on, but rather focuses on the entire customer journey, its processes and capabilities, and evolving those based upon data retrieved from customer feedback or inquiries. This approach fosters ongoing product or service loyalty.

3. Constructing foundational capabilities that support the entire infrastructure of an organization

This foundation is built by creating processes, technological and organizational, that allow businesses to be agile and quick.

This can be done in two ways.

  • Fostering a digital mindset. | This is done by using data to make sound decisions in less time. Promoting a digital mindset institutionalizes the cross-functioning, collaborating, breaking down of hierarchies within an establishment and encouraging the generation of new ideas.
  • Establishing a system and data infrastructure. | This is where IT comes into play. A key feature here is that digitalized IT systems are constructed to build networks that connect devices, objects, and people. Cross-functional IT teams automate systems and optimize processes to be able to become more nimble at software creation.

When it comes to digital business, it all comes down to unlocking a company’s growth potential. Different companies will interpret digital in various ways and will proceed to act accordingly. At GBSB Global, we seek to break down digital, to provide students with an overarching understanding and an in-depth look at digital business today. GBSB Global graduates are well prepared to navigate the diverse realm of digital business that is ever-growing and evolving.

GBSB Global Business School’s Master in Digital Business offered in Barcelona and Madrid provides students with the basis to face the challenges that are transforming businesses today. Working with the advancements in technology, the Master in Digital Business in both Barcelona and Madrid prepares graduates to compete in a highly digitalized economy, equipping them with skills training in social media, online advertising, digital marketing, big data management, and analytics. These competencies give students what it takes to beat out their peers in employability.

Lead the transformation in digital business. Enhance the way society functions and businesses are operated. Create change in the world by earning a Master in Digital Business in Barcelona or Madrid. This program, offered in Spain and taught entirely in English, is one of the most innovative, offering students one of the most comprehensive studies of digital business in Europe. GBSB Global’s professors are active professionals and business owners and provide both experience and acumen into the world of digital business. The school promotes the use of multimedia teaching techniques and methodologies that are changing the way business schools teach business.

Embody the advancements in technology, drive the transformation and change the world of business today. There is no limit to the success GBSB Global graduates can achieve by earning a Master in Digital Business.

Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Global Content Manager


[i], [iii] Dörner, Karel and Edelman, David. July 2015. What ‘digital’ really means. McKinsey&Company High Tech. Retrieved from www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/what-digital-really-means
[ii] Lopez, Jorge. 07 May 2014. Digital Business is Everyone's Business. Forbes. Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2014/05/07/digital-business-is-everyones-business

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