You’ll remember that transforming your business processes is part of your overall digital transformation strategy. Put simply, process transformation is using new technologies to improve and automate your existing business operations. This will result in greater efficiency, save you money and significantly improve productivity. And the goal? To keep your competitive edge and deliver what your customers need and when they want it. But process transformation isn’t enough. To fully apply digital transformation, you’ll also need to adapt your business model to match the latest IT, evolving market trends and changing customer needs. While this may be a tough decision to make, not adapting your business model to new technologies could mean becoming stuck in an uncreative rut and being overtaken by your competitors.


If you Google ‘business model’ you’ll find a host of definitions and types. The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, defines it as:

“How an organization creates, delivers, and captures value in economic, social, cultural or other contexts.”

But we can dumb that down and say that it is how your company creates value and keeps it. It is the foundation on which you generate profit. Creating value may be the easy part but retaining its worth can be challenging, especially in the light of stiff competition.


While we all know that new technologies are powerful enablers of transformation, hardware and software alone aren’t enough to transform your business and make you the leader of the pack. A case in point is the MP3 player that revolutionised capacity, enabling users to carry thousands of songs on a small device. But Apple took the new technology one step further by coupling it with iTunes. The likes of Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music, Apple’s new business model and the advent of the smartphone have all but condemned the MP3 player to the annals of history. The takeaway here is that changing your business model according to available technologies, market needs and growth opportunities will set you in the direction of success.


Albert Einstein once said:

“ We can‘t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

The physicist’s words hold true when you are deciding on how you will digitally transform your business model, especially if you are a fledgling startup and need to attract more customers. In essence, business model transformation means adapting to a new digital environment, strategically planning, and exploring the potential of novel ways of doing business, beyond what is trending in the industry. Effective business model transformation – what Netflix did for home videos and Amazon for retail – is thinking outside the box to enhance your business outcomes. And remember that digital transformation is not digital sugar-coating. It is a sum of parts, of which business model transformation is one, that will enable your business to thrive in a digital economy.


According to the Harvard Business Review, successful business model transformation has 6 fundamental outcomes pointing to success:

  • personalised products and services
  • reduced resource costs
  • sharing of assets like with Uber and Airbnb
  • usage-based pricing such as PayPal and eBay
  • improved collaboration with partners and suppliers
  • an agile and adaptive company


Some say that product innovation is fundamental to your competitiveness. While offering new products and services can broaden your customer base, effective management is essential for successful business reality. Again, let’s look at Apple. As with many companies, teams were working in silos and it was challenging to translate bright ideas into revenue. The tech giant has since launched ANPP (Apple New Product Process), thereby streamlining its R&D and production and providing a much quicker route to market for new products.


Typically, a new product will only be a hit if accompanied by process and business model transformation. The latter is more complex than product innovation or process transformation and often focuses on how a product is brought to market using new and existing technologies. When Amazon decided to become a platform for other retailers, it circumvented the need to maintain an inventory of slower-selling products while still taking a slice of each transaction. According to business strategist, Rob Llewellyn:

“Amazon’s success is the result of business models and they have become masters of business model innovation and continuous transformation. They look at themselves from a customer-defined perspective, and they continuously ask themselves, “what’s next?” This has allowed Amazon’s leadership to iterate on its business model and repeatedly experiment.”


Amazon is an excellent example of a company that is both agile and adaptive. It launched in 1995 as the ‘Earth’s biggest bookstore’ and as of 2021, its total consolidated net sales revenue amounted to $469.82 billion. That’s pretty impressive for an online bookstore – which we know it isn’t. Jeff Bezos took risk after risk, constantly adapting and transforming business models to meet digital and technology changes. That original bookstore now provides us with music and video 24/7, delivers groceries and everything else to our doorsteps offers cloud computing and produces award-winning TV shows. Again, words from Rob Llewellyn convey why Amazon is an inspiration and a leader in digital transformation:

“Amazon doesn’t rest on its laurels and it continues to innovate upon its business models to address new challenges and capitalise on new opportunities. Put simply, Amazon is global, digital, and expanding. Amazon’s future isn’t anchored to what it has done in the past.”


Your business should be constantly evolving and transforming as new digital technologies come up for grabs. Having been in the field of professional business IT management for more than 20 years, I known the importance of keeping up to speed with technological advancements and why digital transformation is imperative for your business to remain competitive. Contact me today and lets remodel your business model together.

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