Business model transformation vital for firms to stay profitable in digital market

Mark Enzer, chief technical officer at Mott MacDonald, speaking at the European CIO Conference in London.

Consultancy and engineering firms not only need digital transformation but also a whole new business model transformation if they are to continue making money moving forward, according to Mark Enzer, chief technical officer at Mott MacDonald.

Speaking at the European CIO Conference 2017, hosted by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in London, Enzer was discussing the digital revolution and the change in thinking companies around the world need to adopt in order to assure success. A business model transformation is unequivocally needed to make more firms more profitable, Enzer told the conference. 

Enzer presented delegates with a smart infrastructure model that placed decision-taking at the top of a pyramid. He told the conference how it was vital professional services were no longer seen as simply the gatekeepers to knowledge that people only use for access to knowledge.“People pay for access to our data but sometimes do not know what to do with it - rather than being gatekeepers, we need to use our knowledge to add value to information," Enzer said. "People may say that is a subtle change but it’s still really important. We need to move to a mature infrastructure approach where we redefine value itself, rather than maximise output we need to maximise value. Companies need to reward the value added to the information, rather than the time," said Enzer.

He highlighted a number of principles to encourage a shift in thinking:

  • Focus on asset management, rather than asset creation 
  • Focus on whole-life cost, rather than the initial build
  • Increased capacity for innovative, digital systems, rather than traditional constructed solutions
  • Outcomes for the ultimate customers, rather than clients
  • Reward outcomes and efficiency, outputs

The main barrier for change is humans, according to Enzer. “The key barrier is ourselves and the problem is all to do with culture and behaviour," he said. "Even if someone has a good idea for a change then there won’t be enough information or if can be done tomorrow then we would still do it next year. As humans we need a whole new way of thinking,” Enzer said.

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