Increasingly there are multiple leadership groups driving the digital agenda: the C-suite, Line of Business (LoB) executives, and functional leaders such as the CMO/CIO. Many organizations are grappling with who should “own” digital, which has led to the emergence of new titles such as Chief Digital Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Experience Officer.

Historically, companies tended to have strength in one of these three areas:

  • Customer-centric
  • Product-centric
  • Operational excellence

While some companies may be stronger in just one of these areas, all companies need to be customer-centric.

In most firms, digital transformation is occurring in four parallel waves of priorities and initiatives. At LiquidHub, we counsel clients to focus on customer engagement transformation first due to the fact that the scale and size of innovation around the customer has the greatest potential to positively impact market share. All of these areas are essential to the customer engagement & experience, and all of the processes within these waves must be designed with engagement in mind.

Transformation Across the Ecosystem

Everything begins from the customer’s point of view. From here, the digital strategy aligns and integrates the capabilities inherent throughout the multi-layered ecosystem so that resources are shared — leading to increased economies of scale and reduced redundancy. Effective digital strategy needs to articulate the big picture (i.e., the goal) and also the components (i.e., the tools).

The layered ecosystem shows the co-dependence of each level of the enterprise and its business processes and components. CEOs and other senior executives are increasingly engaged as their companies step up efforts to build next generation digital champions.

Every large enterprise contains a series of functions, divisions, or Line of Businesses (LoB’s). These LoBs are made up of business processes, which can be classified into solutions. Each solution set is made up of technology applications that employ certain proven components. The components, in turn, are assemblies of raw building blocks like applications or infrastructure. At each level there is a corresponding strategy and architecture providing local benefits, but there also needs to be an interrelated architecture.

For companies wanting to transform, business leaders must look at the entire ecosystem as well as within their own area of control, and fix organizational silos.


Within a company, digital is no longer a group of specialists in an organizational silo; it is pervasive across the enterprise from the CEO to the COO, CDO, CMO to the CIO. The emergence of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is a sign of the widespread awareness that digital initiatives are imperative. Some organizations have created the CDO role as an executive-level position with cross-cutting responsibilities for all digital initiatives. To give the customer a transparent view of their requests, orders, and interaction with the company, digital needs to cuts a horizontal slice across the organization and traverses across all of the vertical ‘stovepipes’ within the organization. This will become the norm for a true customer-centric, process-oriented, digitally-enabled company.

Digital leaders need to constantly transform and improve performance by actively changing components of their digital strategy. The WHAT of the transformation strategy explores the organization’s ability to improve its competitive position and market response time. Getting to the HOW of the strategy requires a thorough understanding of business models, the value chain, business processes, and enabling platforms.