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Detecon Study: 7 Steps to the Digital Business Model

The supreme discipline: partner and customer management +++ Marketing of data at the heart of digital business models +++ Midsize businesses on a peer level with corporate groups

A close relationship in a spirit of trust with partners and customers is at the heart of successful digital business models – this is the conclusion drawn from a cross-industry survey among executive officers of midsize and large enterprises conducted by the management consultancy Detecon. More than 25% of the responding top managers regard a digital ecosystem of this nature to be the most important success factor for the realization of their digital strategy, followed in second place by scaling and network effects. “Digitalization is as demanding as a heptathlon,” said Volker Rieger, Managing Partner and Sector Director Energy at Detecon. “The experts confirm to us that partner and customer management is the supreme discipline.”

The majority of the companies understand digital business models to be the provision of data-based products to their customers; for 82% of the surveyed companies, the marketing of data is a component of their digital business models. Other important elements include the digital brokerage of products and services as well as the features of digital customer interfaces.

Yet the gap between vision and reality remains great; for 92% of the respondents, digitalization of the business models in their own industry is important to very important, but only 6% assess the status of their own digitalization as largely or fully complete – a range that is equally true of large as well as of midsize companies. “Midsize businesses have done a lot of catching up, but digitalization is still in the beginning stages,” said Rieger. “It is now important for companies to initiate concrete steps quickly.”

Above all, companies must invest in their experts to drive forward digital transformation – especially in know-how for data processing, but also in the working environment and engagement of their employees. “Digitalization is not first and foremost a technology topic,” said Detecon manager Rieger; “People are the decisive factor for success.”

The results of the study are available for downloading here.

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