A digital firm is one in which nearly all of the organization‘s significant business relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees are digitally enabled, and key corporate assets are managed through digital means. These digital networks are supported by enterprise class technology platforms that have been leveraged within an organization to support critical business functions and services. Some examples of these technology platforms are Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Knowledge Management (KMS), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Warehouse Management System (WMS). Making a firm digital is not about just adding a computer system to the mix. Throwing a computer system at outdated business processes is exactly the wrong thing to do. A truly digital firm has several characteristics that distinguish it from most of the firms claiming to be digitized:
® Significant business relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees are digitally enabled and mediated.
® Core business processes are accomplished through digital networks spanning the entire organization or linking multiple organizations.
® Key corporate assets – intellectual property, core competencies, and financial and human assets – are managed through digital means.
® They sense and respond to their environments far more rapidly than traditional firms.
® They offer extraordinary opportunities for more flexible global organization and management, practicing time-shifting (business being conducted 24 hrs x7 day) and space-shifting (business being conducted globally or beyond traditional geographic boundaries).