Rotman Management

Creating Your Digital Business Model

You have said that digital transformation is actually not about technology. Please explain.

It’s really about change — and technology is just one aspect of that change. Before the internet, businesses operated primarily in a physical world of place, but today, all industries are shifting towards a world of digital space. Every organization must examine how it will move from place to space and engage its customers digitally. This will require new kinds of skills, resources and capabilities. In the end, the question is not, ‘What kind of technology do we need?’ but, ‘What makes our enterprise great, and how can we use digital to optimize that?’

You have found that digital disruption comes in three varieties. Please describe them.

The first type of disruption happens when a new entrant—typically a start-up like or —comes into an existing market space and offers an exciting new value proposition. In banking, for instance, we are seeing fintech start-ups going after certain aspects of the big banks’ profits. At the moment, they’re really going after loans, which are particularly profitable for the

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