11 steps to developing successful digital business models
Are you facing the challenge of digitizing and scaling established business models in order to remain innovative and fit for the future? However, inefficient processes and workflows are making implementation difficult or a lack of expertise is blocking the idea? We support you from the idea to implementation in order to remain resilient in the face of changing market conditions and show you step by step how to implement a successful digital business model.
What is a digital business model?
A digital business model is a strategic approach to value creation that utilises digital technologies and platforms to transform or redesign products, services or processes. It is based on the idea that data, the internet and technology can play a central role in creating added value for customers and companies. Essentially, it is a way for companies to offer, sell and optimise their products or services using digital solutions.
What can I achieve with a digital business model?
The introduction of a digital business model offers a wide range of benefits:
- Increasing efficiency: by automating and digitising processes, companies can improve their operational efficiency, save time and resources and reduce costs.
- Develop new customers: Digital business models enable access to a global market and the development of new customer groups that were previously unreachable.
- Added value for customers: Companies can offer their customers added value through digital solutions, be it through personalised offers, better service or innovative products.
- Increase customer loyalty: Interaction with customers via digital channels enables closer ties and the opportunity to respond to customers' needs.
- Innovation: Digital business models promote continuous innovation as they facilitate rapid adaptation to changing market conditions.
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Would you like to learn how to turn an idea into a successful digital business model? Are you ready to learn the proven strategies from over 100 successful software projects? Watch the recording of our webinar "11 steps to developing successful digital business models in companies: from idea to successful launch" now.
5 examples of digital business models
Digitising an existing business model & creating added value for customers
A company that manufactures gardening tools develops a mobile app and a web platform to make these tools smart. The app informs the user about the next maintenance interval for the chainsaw and enables the combination of robotic mowers with automatic irrigation.
- Inspiring customers and increasing sales through digitalised products: A painting company offers an app that allows customers to try out the colour of their walls virtually. This means that the discussion is no longer about whether customers should use the service, but which colour looks best.
- Becoming the standard solution on the market by massively increasing efficiency: A company that supports laboratories digitises laboratory operations using an app-based lab book with a cloud solution for evaluation. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency in the sector.
- Tapping into new target groups by digitalising previously analogue processes: A company automates the entire car leasing process, from "customer is interested" to "contract is created", and offers this as a software-as-a-service solution for leasing agencies. This opens up new target groups and speeds up the process considerably.
- Platform-based business model: A company develops an e-learning platform on which teachers can sell teaching materials. This platform enables teachers to monetize their knowledge and offers students easy access to high-quality educational content.
The process in a project for the digitalization of business models:
The conceptualization phase is about laying the foundations for the digital project. This includes identifying the challenge, defining the requirements and planning the project process. Important concepts such as user flows, wireframes and epics are developed here in order to create the basis for subsequent implementation. The conceptualization phase emphasizes clarity of goals and precise definition of the project to ensure that the project stays on track.
- Step 1: Briefing - identify problem & define requirements: In this phase, the focus is on understanding the challenge in detail. This requires close collaboration between the teams. The briefing lays the foundation for the entire project by defining the goals and scope of the digitalization.
- Step 2: Breakdown - define user flow, wireframes & epics: Once the problem has been identified, detailed planning takes place. Here, features and ideas are collected and summarized in a user flow to visualize the process of the digital solution. At the same time, rough wireframes are created to get an idea of what the application could look like. Epics are defined and the tasks are broken down into smaller, manageable parts.
- Step 3: Refine - finalization and screen designs: In this phase, rough concepts are refined. Screen designs are created to design the user interface of the digital solution. A click dummy is developed to test the user experience and ensure that the solution meets expectations. At the same time, it is important to consider the software architecture to ensure a smooth implementation.
- Step 4: Test - incorporate user testing and feedback: To ensure that the digital solution meets the needs of users, early involvement of real users is crucial. This is done by conducting user tests based on clickable prototypes, where the feedback gathered is invaluable. It flows into further iterations and updates. This ensures that the solution works optimally and fulfills the users' needs.
- Step 5: Gather - create backlog: A backlog is created based on the results of the conceptualization phase. This backlog contains all the necessary user stories and forms the basis for implementation. It contains an estimate of the benefits and effort for each task in the form of user stories and serves as a guide for the developers during implementation.
Realization in sprints
The implementation phase is the practical part of the project in which the ideas and concepts are turned into reality. This includes the planning of the implementation in sprints, the actual development of the digital solution and the regular review of the results achieved. During this phase, the defined requirements are realized, and the software is developed and tested to ensure that it meets expectations.
- Step 6: Planning - implementation in sprints: Implementation takes place in sprints, with each sprint planning containing the tasks to be developed during the sprint. This is also where it is ensured that these tasks are "ready to develop", which means that all the information required for implementation is available.
- Step 7: Implementation - the development: The developers implement the planned tasks. This is the phase in which the actual programming and implementation of the digital solution takes place. It is crucial that the development is carried out in accordance with the previously defined requirements and designs.
- Step 8: Review - checking the results: After each sprint, the results achieved are reviewed. This serves to ensure that the developed functions meet expectations and that there are no deviations.
- Step 9: Go live - the launch: Once all sprints have been completed and the digital solution has been successfully tested, it is time to put it into operation and go live. This involves careful planning and coordination to ensure that the rollout runs smoothly and that there are no interruptions to operations.
The operations phase is concerned with the operation and maintenance of the digital solution after its introduction. This includes the hypercare phase, where any issues are resolved, and software maintenance, which includes continuous improvements and updates. During this phase, the focus is on the stability and performance of the solution, and user feedback is actively sought to ensure that the solution continues to meet needs. Operations is a continuous process that ensures the long-term functionality and relevance of the digital solution.
- Step 10: Hypercare phase - aftercare: After implementation, the hypercare phase begins. This is where any problems are resolved and users are supported in using the new solution. This is a critical phase in which it is ensured that the solution is stable, and any initial difficulties are resolved.
- Step 11: Software maintenance - continuous improvement: Digitalization is a continuous process. Software maintenance is therefore crucial. This includes implementing updates, fixing bugs and listening to user feedback. This ensures that the solution is continuously improved and meets changing requirements.
Digital business models offer a wide range of opportunities and can help companies to be successful in an increasingly digitalised world. The steps presented for the digitalisation of business models and the examples illustrate how different digital transformation can look in different industries in order to better meet customer needs and drive business growth. Stay agile and take a strategic approach to digital transformation to successfully meet changing market conditions.
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You can find all the content summarised in the recording of our webinar "11 steps to developing successful digital business models in companies: from the idea to a successful web/app/mobile launch".