Caught between a digital David and Goliath

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On one hand digital has democratised. It has created a level
playing field for small, disruptive start-ups to launch a new business fast,
leveraging computing power in the cloud and motivating peer-to-peer armies of
willing consumers to create vast scale at a remarkably low cost (see my posts “Customer
to Customer and the legend of Kachwachi”
or “Outsource
your marketing, sales & service to your customers”
).

On the other hand, digital has created a vastly uneven
playing field, concentrating enormous power into the hands of digital mega-vendors
with enormous data stores, insight into consumer behavior and often one-click
billing relationships with huge chunks of the population. More and more we see
the mega-vendors moving into new industries like Financial Services (via mobile
wallet offerings, virtual currencies etc), Computer & Telephony Hardware
(phones, tablets, netbooks etc), Media (music, movies & sports), Automotive
(driverless cars), Software, Groceries, Gaming, Communications, Healthcare and
many more…
The challenge for the average FTSE 250 or Fortune 500 Company
(that might have been around for say 20-50 years) is that they are neither a
lean, disruptive start-up; nor are they a digital mega-vendor. They are, in
effect, caught between David and Goliath.
The majority of businesses in this category certainly have
considerable assets (e.g. brands, relationships, physical outlets, contact
centres, contracts with customers etc), but they also have a considerable legacy
(e.g. brands (?!), physical outlets (?!), contact centres (?!), contracts with
customers (?!) etc). In addition, they also have to deal with the significant challenge
of remnants of technology, mind-sets, route to market and operating models that
were quite simply designed for an analogue age (see my post on “CRM
for a digital age”
).

The majority of FTSE 100 / Fortune 500 businesses therefore
face a challenge; namely, how they identify and leverage the assets they have, whilst
at the same time removing (or transforming) their legacy, in order to compete
against both David and Goliath at the same time.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laurence Buchanan
Laurence is CEO of EY Seren and leads EY’s global Customer & Growth practice. He works with clients to help them re-imagine growth through human-centered design, innovation and the transformation of Marketing, Sales & Customer Service functions. He is a recognized authority on digital transformation, customer experience and CRM, he has worked across a wide range of sectors, including telco, media, life sciences, retail and sports. He received an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford.

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