Managing the Digital Product

Digital Product Portfolios are managed from three perspectives, as depicted in Digital Product Portfolios:

  • Market-facing: primarily for use by external customers

  • Internal-facing: primarily to improve employee experience or productivity; may replace employees with fully autonomous processes

  • Foundational: a combination of both

Jeanne Ross et al. made these perspectives clear in Designed for Digital: How to Architect your Business for Sustained Success [Ross et al.]. In this book, the authors explain that there are two areas in which organizations should focus their Digital Transformation:

  1. Digitizing internal processes that improve employee productivity and experience.

  2. Creating digital offerings for the market to improve customer experience.

Digital Product Portfolios captures these two perspectives as subsets of the overall Digital Product Portfolio. A third portfolio captures those shared, foundational Digital Products used in both contexts.

Figure 1. Digital Product Portfolios

Directly linking Digital Product Portfolios to Strategy in this way provides clarity on investment priorities and should reduce bad outcomes in competition for funding. Management agility is improved when analyzing costs, and investment decisions become strategically aligned.