Digital has become an important tool in the “path to consumption” value chain — and yet still has more to offer. Manufacturers, service providers and retailers have doubled down on their digital initiatives. That became apparent in our conversations late in 2020 with more than 40 senior executives in Europe who told us about their recent top digital initiatives.

All these executives’ companies had embarked on ambitious projects, some spanning multiple operating areas. Most of the projects had been launched before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, then continued, with project teams collaborating remotely.

Executives told us why these digitization projects took priority; where they ran into implementation obstacles; and lessons learned and success measures. Some common themes emerged from our conversations:

  • Digital is everywhere in the value chain, but only rarely supports an end-to-end digital strategy.
  • Experience, broadly defined (from closing contracts in the field to tracking machine parts throughout their lifecycle), is the endgame for most digital initiatives.
  • Creating intelligence by unlocking data silos is an imperative.
  • Legacy system inertia slows and complicates digital initiatives. Modernization is overdue; heritage systems have a larger-than-expected impact on modern technology.
  • Project and change management remain challenges as the stakes for their success grow larger.
  • Sustainability and the circular economy are emerging. Companies need a strong digital foundation on which to build sustainable, environmentally sensitive practices to satisfy consumer demand.

We explore these themes, examining how to engineer a modern business through a holistic digital strategy centered on delivering a well-defined customer experience. We discuss building this experience with insights based on deep, rich data stores, tapped with intelligent decisioning tools. We also look at how to overcome common barriers to digital success and lessons shared.

To learn more, visit Cognizant Consulting or contact us.