Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success (Management on the Cutting Edge) (Hardcover)

Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success (Management on the Cutting Edge) Cover Image
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Practical advice for redesigning “big, old” companies for digital success, with examples from Amazon, BNY Mellon, LEGO, Philips, USAA, and many other global organizations.

Most established companies have deployed such digital technologies as the cloud, mobile apps, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence. But few established companies are designed for digital. This book offers an essential guide for retooling organizations for digital success. In the digital economy, rapid pace of change in technology capabilities and customer desires means that business strategy must be fluid. As a result, the authors explain, business design has become a critical management responsibility. Effective business design enables a company to quickly pivot in response to new competitive threats and opportunities. Most leaders today, however, rely on organizational structure to implement strategy, unaware that structure inhibits, rather than enables, agility. In companies that are designed for digital, people, processes, data, and technology are synchronized to identify and deliver innovative customer solutions—and redefine strategy. Digital design, not strategy, is what separates winners from losers in the digital economy.

Designed for Digital offers practical advice on digital transformation, with examples that include Amazon, BNY Mellon, DBS Bank, LEGO, Philips, Schneider Electric, USAA, and many other global organizations. Drawing on five years of research and in-depth case studies, the book is an essential guide for companies that want to disrupt rather than be disrupted in the new digital landscape.

Five Building Blocks of Digital Business Success
Shared Customer Insights
Operational Backbone
Digital Platform
Accountability Framework
External Developer Platform

About the Author

Jeanne W. Ross is Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.

Cynthia M. Beath is Professor Emerita at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Martin Mocker is Professor at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University, Germany, and Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.

Praise For…

While David Teece has argued business capabilities need to be dynamic, we all know in the digital age they need to be increasingly be digital. In my weekly discussions with CIOs, they tell me the starting point for a business transformation is not technology but people and processes. In “Designed for Digital”, the authors provide a digital business architecture but more importantly a unification theory for management in the digital age. This theory shares the role of executives in enabling experimentation, in innovation delivery, and in creating the platform for digital business offerings.

Myles Suer, #CIOChat Facilitator and Contributor—

In “Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success,” Jeanne Ross, Cynthia Beath and Martin Mocker offer a contemporary digital model for enterprises. Those who can obtain it will have the 'right to win' and who cannot will increasingly find themselves subjected to wave after wave of digital disruption. Interestingly, the authors not only argue for the importance of architecture, but they also argue for a revised theory of management. This makes the book relevant to IT professionals and business leaders interested in digital transformation.


Sick of being told your business should be more like Apple, Amazon, Uber, or Airbnb? Mystified about how to apply their examples to your big, older company's digital transformation work? If so, read Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, the new MIT Press book by Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath, and Martin Mocker.

The Enterprisers Project

One of Forbes's Top Ten Technology Books of 2019.


In "Designed for Digital," the authors note that much of what companies believe to be digital transformation falls short. They implement cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, or mobile apps, but, at their core, they operate as they have always operated. This book offers recommendation on how to fundamentally retool the enterprise to achieve true digital success.

Peter High, Forbes

Product Details
ISBN: 9780262042888
ISBN-10: 0262042886
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: Management on the Cutting Edge