Designed for Digital

From Management on the Cutting Edge

Designed for Digital

How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success

By Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath and Martin Mocker

Practical advice for redesigning “big, old” companies for digital success, with examples from Amazon, BNY Mellon, LEGO, Philips, USAA, and many other global organizations.





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 pivot quickly 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 SuccessShared Customer InsightsOperational BackboneDigital PlatformAccountability FrameworkExternal Developer Platform


$34.95 T ISBN: 9780262042888 208 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 16 figures


$19.95 T ISBN: 9780262542760 208 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 16 figures


  • 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



  • A perfect primer for those looking to entrench digital capability into the DNA of their organization. This work goes beyond surfac- level improvements and fundamentally equips you for enduring success in a digital world.

    Gayan Benedict

    CIO, Reserve Bank of Australia

  • Knowing where to start and what it takes to transform digitally is one of the biggest challenges leaders of successful organizations face. This book provides five building blocks and valuable examples that can help them to design their digital business.

    Bas Burger

    CEO, BT Global Services

  • Not all companies are digital born, but all must offer customers new digital value propositions—or risk disruption from those that will. This insightful, well-researched book is filled with real-world examples and practical advice to help 'big, old' companies reimagine a digital future where rapid innovation fuels growth.

    Meg McCarthy

    Executive Vice President, CVS Health

  • Designed for Digital is a must-read for leaders in banking and other industries. The authors expertly frame the challenges of this era of changing customer behaviors, increased regulation, and the arrival of new competitors, and provide building blocks for success that leverage disruptive technologies while managing legacy systems.

    Bernard Gavgani

    CIO, BNP Paribas Group

  • An essential guide for any company already on, or about to start, its digital transformation. Through providing a common language, practical frameworks, and different approaches, the authors give you the inspiration to start and the courage to persevere on the challenging journey toward digital relevance.

    Carolyn Cameron-Kirksmith

    Head of Group Strategic Development, Standard Bank Group

  • These three experts have been researching and writing about digital transformation since its inception. They wisely argue for new digital offerings and business models, rather than 'random acts of digital.' If you've got the motivation for this kind of change, they've got the answers for how to do it.

    Thomas H. Davenport

    Distinguished Professor, Babson College; Research Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; author of Competing on Analytics and The AI Advantage