Opportunity or ‘paving the cow patch’?

Over the past twelve months there has been a lot of talk about disruption and online, brought about by the penetration into the Australian market of companies such as Amazon, Uber and AirBnB.

Most companies are now creating online channels to better service customers and interact with suppliers. In the main, however, Australian corporates have been slow to the digital race – counterparts in the US and UK have developed online models and channels for up to 10 years

While building an alternative channel to better service existing customers and suppliers is a worthwhile aim, the risk is that it becomes a ‘website development’ that ‘paves the cowpatch’ – puts the current physical business model online.

The real opportunity is to redefine the business model to create a more efficient and effective business. When we were taught strategy, it was seen that we had a binary choice; to be either better or cheaper. In today’s digital world the opportunity is to be both better and cheaper.

The Deloitte publication, “Digital Disruption; Stories from the Front Line” talks about companies like Telstra and NAB that have built digital and crowd sourcing models to transform part or all of their business model. The Telstra example is one of my favourites – using customers to help solve the problems of other customers.

Are you thinking laterally enough about the opportunity to transform your business model?

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