Digital native is a term coined by Marc Prensky in 2001 to describe a generation that grew up immersed in technology, that have been comfortable with it from an early age, and believe it to be a necessary part of their lives. Digital natives mainly communicate and learn via computers, social networking and texting. They speak a “digital language,” compared to an old “accented” language that smacks of reluctance to adapt to new technology. Digital natives have encouraged a marketing shift to social media platforms, “gamified” promotions, exploring data for advertising insights, and more.
A digital-native enterprise [DNE], on the other hand, manifests these marketing shifts, but also has incredible ability to scale operations and innovation. They are more than just a digitized company. DNEs employ an outside-in approach that allows them to evolve both its offerings and business models in ways traditional “analog” companies do not. The line between customer, vendor, and service provider as organizations become blurred in this approach, creating more of a partnership than a supplier relationship.
What is a digital native enterprise?
In the white paper, “What is a Digital Native Enterprise,” the International Data Corporation [IDC] identifies four characteristics of a digital native enterprise:
- Able to innovate and scale faster than traditional businesses.
- Driven by innovative, risk-taking customer-centric employees.
- Built on a foundation of technology and data that fuel efficiency, customer loyalty, and new revenue streams.
- Embedded in a wide ecosystem, leveraging a large base of patterns to improve offerings.
As commerce evolves, organizations will have no choice but to apply new technologies to advance their connection between individuals, organizations, and things.
Core principles of a DNE
“DNEs exemplify three core principles: Information and how it is used are key to success,” says Mike Rosen, research vice president at IDC. “Consumer engagement and scale is mandatory. And, ecosystems and platforms are as important as core IP,”
With innovation-driven digital technology, people can connect globally, get instant access to almost anything, and travel, shop or watch television from anywhere. This accessibility has created the potential for unlimited opportunities, upscaling an organization’s innovation processes, and making digital transformation both a critical and necessary element for turning a digitally empowered business into a reliable source.
Rise of the digital enterprise Unicorns
A truly digital enterprise stands for more than just using new technologies. Rather, its competitive advantage is its culture, strategy and way of operating. They continuously enable new and leaner operating models underpinned by agile business processes, connected platforms, analytics and collaboration capabilities. They relentlessly search out, identify and develop new digital business models, keeping customers and employees as the center focus.
The democratization and increased affordability of technology, improved access to funds and a rising entrepreneurial culture means that there are now hundreds of startups that are able to tackle traditional markets. Companies such as Uber, Twitch, Tesla, Hired, Clinkle, Beyond Verbal, Vayable, GitHub, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Matternet, Snapchat, Homejoy and Waze are achieving scale far quicker than analog companies. Whereas the average traditional Fortune 500 company took 20 years to reach a market capitalization of $1 billion, Google managed it in eight years, and Uber, Snapchat and Xiaomi did it in three years or less.
Amazon has become a leader in commerce due to its digital strategy, the creation of a vast database of consumer information, and by continually reinventing itself in order to meet and exceed a user’s expectations. In 2015, they upped their game with “Amazon Business,” which transitioned them into the B2B world.
Looking to find your business’s home in Web1, Web2 and Web3? Keep reading Creating a Digital Enterprise, or contact us today to discover the next steps in building or refining your native enterprise website for scalability and longevity in today’s changing world.