Digital Business Design – A holistic approach

The ongoing digital tsunami affects every business area and every company gets affected by this movement. How can companies address these digital challenges and what are the necessary and accurate activities? One possible solution is to pursue a holistic approach.

The holistic approach

Holism is the way to think that components of a solution should be considered as a whole, not just as a single, independent part of the solution. One single digital initiative must be seen as a part of the whole digital solution design. Especially in the dynamic environment of digital transformation, it is very difficult to identify an overarching digital strategy and follow it accordingly.

To handle this complexity, appropriate models and procedures are required. One such a model is Digital Business Design which supports and assists companies in their Digital Business Challenges.

Digital Business Challenges

Disrupting changes are challenging the traditional business. Possible examples for such changes are new technologies, shifting customer requirements, floating local and global regulations and so on. See below a selection of main drivers for this digitalization:

Overview main drivers digital transformation
Overview main drivers digital transformation

New business strategies and business models are essential to survive in the digital world. Digital capabilities must be built to support living, learning and working in a digital society. These capabilities must be developed in a wide range of business areas to generate the right business values. It is no secret that the right way is called business reinvention and not business improvement; the changes are fundamental.

It is crucial to drive all changes in a holistic, organized manner and to concentrate the business resources on the right ambitions. In addition to all ongoing changes, there is still an ongoing business that needs to be ensured. It is indisputable; all these adjustments need an integrated and holistic management.

Integrated management with Digital Business Design

Digital Business Design is a possible way to implement an integrated management. It represents a holistic approach which offers a structured way to identify, initiate and execute digital initiatives in a time and cost efficient manner with a minimum of risks.

DBD as holistic approach
Digital Business Design as structured and holistic approach for digital transformation

This approach ensures that the needed digital business values and capabilities will be developed and can be controlled and monitored within the new digital target business model.

Digital Business Design at a glance

The composition of Digital Business Design can be described as a closed process with four main areas as shown in the following overview:

Digital Business Design at a glance
Digital Business Design at a glance

Digital Maturity Profiler

The main topic of this area is the measurement of the current business values and capabilities and the benchmarking of them. Only if a company is aware of the actual strengths and weaknesses the right opportunities and challenges can be identified and prioritized.

Digital Strategy

Once the opportunities and challenges are classified, a proper digital strategy can be defined. In this area business units and IT organization must interact closely together to define the digital vision and the needed digital capabilities. One of the results must be a digital roadmap to set the focus to the most important opportunities.

Design and Leadership

A critical factor for cost and time efficiency is design and leadership. Digital initiatives, projects and programs need a supportive environment to generate innovation. Not every engagement should start from the very beginning. Implementing a common design and leadership culture improves the efficiency and effectiveness of digital initiatives. This needs a broad support in the entire company. Together with the appropriate technology platforms (see below) design and leadership can act like a high performing digital transformation factory.

Operating Model

The operating model ensures the success of the new business capabilities. The target within this area is to achieve operational excellence. In addition, the suitable technology platforms must be chosen.

A technology platform is a collection of defined technologies, resources and knowledge that can be used to develop and deliver a particular type of service. Such a platform can be consumed as a shared service and guarantees the best results with a minimum of costs and risks. Examples for platforms could be digital workplace, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, security, the Internet of Things and business ecosystems.


The efficiency and effectiveness of the entire digital transformation will be affected dramatically when all the corresponding initiatives will be run with independent targets and within isolated environments.

A model is needed that helps the company to identify and follow the overall strategy and vision, generate the supportive synergies and reduce risks. Digital Business Design represents such a model and fulfills all of these expectations.

André Romagna

Project Manager / Manager at Atos Consulting CH
Interested in new technologies and new methodologies. Engaged in Digital Business Design. Many years of experience in initiating and leadership of digital initiatives in the areas of marketing and channel management, enterprise security and onboarding of new business values.
André Romagna

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Digital Business Design – A holistic approach
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Digital Business Design – A holistic approach
Activities of digital transformation must be viewed as a whole and not individually. The digital initiatives must be adapted to the same strategy and driven in a common environment in order to benefit from synergies. Digital Business Design is a model which support this need.
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Atos Consulting Switzerland
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