The rise of digital-physical businesses

I marvel at the ingenuity of our clients, the stream of innovative products and services they bring to market, and especially their ability to keep adapting in a time of relentless disruption.

To secure their future, they seem to have borrowed a concept from biology called hybrid vigor, which refers to the increased strength seen in some crossbred plants or animals.

A hybrid business model

For our clients, who are among the world’s most accomplished enterprises, the hybrid of interest is the digital-physical business. They’ve become increasingly proficient at combining a powerful set of new capabilities with their traditional areas of strength to raise the odds that they will be the disrupters rather than the disrupted.

The new capabilities, known broadly as digital technologies, include artificial intelligence, analytics, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, robotic process automation, cloud, and more.

Our clients are using digital to build on and supercharge the tremendous capabilities they’ve spent years or even decades developing. They’re combining their data, customer roster, channels, industry knowledge, operational excellence, and brand equity with advanced technologies to create entirely new businesses that can deliver higher levels of quality, reliability, and customization for their customers.

The freedom to forget and start fresh

What attracts businesses to digital technologies is that they provide the freedom to forget about precedent and create from scratch. With these technologies, they can envision and deliver entirely new forms of value like democratizing financial security to provide more of the world’s individuals and businesses with access to affordable financial products and services. Or remaking healthcare to generate consistently better treatment and prevention at a lower cost.

Digital technologies have become so integral to remaking business models and core processes that no enterprise can ignore them and still remain competitive.

The new digital heavyweights

At Cognizant we’ve come to see many of our clients as a new generation of digital heavyweights who are making breakthroughs in their industry by combining digital capabilities with physical assets. This blending of industrial with digital promises to dramatically improve the way the world’s industries serve our needs and improve our lives.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on how established companies can move faster than digital natives to become the new digital heavyweights.

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