Why Fusion is Necessary in Modern Business - Virtual First

Why Fusion is Necessary in Modern Business



I’ll let you into a secret. My background is in physics. However, this article is not about nuclear fusion. It’s about the new wave of fusion in business.

Fusion, in physics, is not about chaos and blowing things up – it’s about joining things together, making them one.

In a sense, that is exactly what business fusion is about.

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, you need to stay ahead of the curve to maintain a competitive edge. The Digital and Fusion Strategy is a transformative approach that combines digital innovation with a holistic integration of traditional business practices. This strategy is not just a trend; it’s your blueprint for future-proofing your business. In this blog, we’ll explore what the Digital and Fusion Strategy entails, its key components, benefits, and how you can effectively implement it.

Now, I know what you are thinking, like that lady when told another election was on the way, “Oh no, not another one!” – another fad that hip business consultants bang on about to look relevant, on-the-ball, and suck money out of companies.

I’ll just say one thing – JIT (Just-in-time). When JIT was first introduced, many businesses were hesitant to adopt it. Originating in Japan, particularly from Toyota’s production system, JIT focused on minimizing waste by receiving goods only as they were needed in the production process. This approach was radically different from the traditional methods that emphasized maintaining large inventories to avoid stockouts and ensure continuous production. Critics argued that JIT was risky and impractical, especially in environments with unpredictable supply chains and fluctuating demand.

Yet now, it is the cornerstone of most business practices. It is not without it’s problems as the Covid-19 crisis highlighted (Check our article on business continuity planning) However, it is how we now operate – from crazy scary fad to core strategic function.

So, Fusion, foolish crazy fad or future core function?

Well, I would be wasting your time and mine if it was the former.

Later in the article, I will cover some of the major companies that are implementing this approach just to underline how quickly this has become mainstream.

But first, watch this video to get some more insight into this new approach.


Understanding the Digital and Fusion Strategy

At its core, the Digital and Fusion Strategy is about leveraging digital technologies to enhance and integrate every aspect of your business. It involves the fusion of digital tools with traditional business operations to create a seamless, efficient, and adaptive enterprise. This approach recognises that digital transformation isn’t just about adopting new technologies but also about rethinking business models, processes, and cultures.

Recently, the Harvard Business Review published an article article focussed on the use of AI in the farming industry.

Key Components of the Digital and Fusion Strategy

  1. Digital Innovation

    • Emerging Technologies: Incorporate technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain into your business processes to drive innovation and efficiency.
    • Data Analytics: Utilise big data and advanced analytics to gain insights, predict trends, and make informed decisions.
  2. Integrated Systems

    • System Interoperability: Ensure that all digital and traditional systems can communicate and work together seamlessly.
    • Unified Platforms: Create integrated platforms that bring together various business functions such as marketing, sales, customer service, and operations.
  3. Customer-Centric Approach

    • Personalised Experiences: Use digital tools to provide personalised experiences to your customers, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.
    • Customer Insights: Leverage data analytics to understand customer behaviour and preferences, allowing for more targeted and effective marketing strategies.
  4. Agile Methodologies

    • Flexible Processes: Implement agile methodologies to allow for rapid adaptation to changes in the market or technology landscape.
    • Continuous Improvement: Emphasise iterative development and continuous feedback to improve your products and services.
  5. Cultural Transformation

    • Digital Mindset: Foster a culture that embraces digital innovation and continuous learning.
    • Collaboration and Communication: Promote cross-functional collaboration and transparent communication to break down silos and enhance teamwork.

Benefits of the Digital and Fusion Strategy

  1. Increased Efficiency

    • By integrating digital technologies into your business processes, you can automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and streamline operations. This leads to significant cost savings and improved productivity.
  2. Enhanced Customer Experience

    • A customer-centric approach, powered by digital tools, enables you to provide personalised and timely services. This enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, driving revenue growth.
  3. Better Decision Making

    • Advanced data analytics provide deep insights into market trends, customer behaviour, and operational performance. This enables you to make informed decisions quickly and accurately.
  4. Greater Agility

    • Agile methodologies ensure that you can quickly adapt to changes in the market or technology landscape. This flexibility is crucial in today’s fast-paced environment.
  5. Competitive Advantage

    • By staying ahead of technological trends and continuously innovating, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and capture new market opportunities.

How Fusion Strategy Differs from the Internet of Things

Traditionally, you might have focused mainly on sales and marketing data, analysing demographics to see who buys your product and who might spend more on upgrades. Digital systems were just tools to cut manufacturing costs or add features like Wi-Fi to analogue products. But today, you need to look beyond the sale and see how your digital and analogue products can create positive outcomes for customers. This means constantly gathering data and applying insights in real-time to solve customer problems.

Like the Internet of Things (IoT), fusion strategy involves a network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity. However, fusion strategy goes a step further. Instead of just equipping an analogue product for data collection, you reimagine the product’s design from scratch using all available digital tools and functionalities.

In your organisation, IoT is typically managed at the functional level. For example, operations managers and quality control executives use sensor data to ensure processes meet industry standards. Designers create internet-enabled products that generate data for future iterations. These functions often operate independently without much need for coordination.

Fusion Strategy

Fusion strategy, on the other hand, is cross-functional. It requires senior executives from different departments to collaborate and decide how to harness sensor data to deliver value to current customers and develop new products for future customers.

Fusion strategy also offers quicker insights and benefits compared to IoT. While IoT systems record and log data, fusion strategy uses that data immediately. It observes product usage in diverse settings and leverages this information to provide automated, personalised recommendations or experiences to your customers.

The business case for fusion strategy is all about competitive differentiation. It’s about experimenting with new technologies and developing a roadmap to incorporate them, giving you an edge over competitors. For example, automotive companies developing self-driving vehicles invest in IoT to meet safety standards. However, their real differentiation comes from how they integrate sensors, software, and data connectivity to make their cars perform better than those of competitors.

Implementing the Digital and Fusion Strategy

  1. Assessment and Planning

    • Current State Analysis: Assess the current state of your business processes, technologies, and culture to identify areas for improvement.
    • Strategic Planning: Develop a comprehensive plan that outlines your vision, goals, and steps for implementing the Digital and Fusion Strategy.
  2. Technology Adoption

    • Technology Roadmap: Create a roadmap for adopting and integrating new technologies, ensuring alignment with your business goals.
    • Pilot Programs: Start with pilot programs to test new technologies and processes before full-scale implementation.
  3. Process Integration

    • System Integration: Ensure that all systems, both digital and traditional, are integrated and can communicate effectively.
    • Process Re-engineering: Redesign business processes to take full advantage of digital tools and technologies.
  4. Change Management

    • Leadership Buy-In: Secure commitment from top leadership to drive the transformation.
    • Employee Training: Provide training and resources to help your employees develop the necessary digital skills and mindset.
  5. Continuous Improvement

    • Feedback Loops: Establish continuous feedback loops to monitor progress, identify issues, and make necessary adjustments.
    • Performance Metrics: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the Digital and Fusion Strategy.

Real-World Examples of Fusion in Business

  1. Amazon:

    Amazon’s success is largely attributed to its digital and fusion strategy. The company leverages AI and machine learning to optimise its supply chain, provide personalised recommendations, and enhance customer service. Its integrated platforms ensure seamless operations across different functions, from sales to logistics. Other examples include:

    • Walmart using AI to streamline inventory management.
    • Netflix leveraging big data to personalise viewing recommendations.
  2. General Electric (GE):

    GE has adopted a digital and fusion strategy to transform its industrial operations. By integrating IoT and big data analytics, GE has developed the Predix platform, which provides real-time insights into equipment performance, enabling predictive maintenance and improved efficiency. Other examples include:

    • Siemens using IoT for smart manufacturing.
    • ABB employing AI for predictive maintenance.
  3. Starbucks:

    Starbucks uses a digital and fusion strategy to enhance customer experience. The Starbucks app integrates loyalty programs, mobile payments, and personalised offers, creating a seamless and engaging customer journey. Other examples include:

    • McDonald’s using AI to personalise drive-thru menus.
    • Domino’s employing digital tools for efficient order management.
  4. Tesco:

    Tesco has integrated digital technologies to enhance its operations and customer experience. The use of data analytics allows Tesco to manage inventory efficiently, predict customer preferences, and personalise marketing campaigns. Other examples include:

    • ASOS using AI to personalise online shopping experiences.
    • Ocado leveraging robotics and AI to optimise its delivery operations.
  5. Barclays:

    Barclays has implemented a digital and fusion strategy to improve its banking services. The bank uses AI and machine learning to enhance fraud detection, personalise customer interactions, and streamline online banking services. Other examples include:

    • HSBC using blockchain for secure and efficient transactions.
    • Lloyds Bank employing data analytics to improve customer service and product offerings.


The Digital and Fusion Strategy is not just a trend; it is a necessary evolution for you to thrive in the digital age. By effectively integrating digital technologies with traditional business practices, you can achieve greater efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge. Implementing this strategy requires a comprehensive approach that includes technology adoption, process integration, and cultural transformation. With careful planning and execution, you can unlock the full potential of digital innovation and secure your future in an ever-changing landscape.

Where should I get my solution from?

The best resource you can have for any journey is a guide. You need someone who knows what is worth having and what you should avoid and, more importantly, how to combine everything into a seamless package.

That’s where companies like VirtualFirst comes in. We can use our expertise to build you a package that meets your exact needs. We take away the worry and potential pitfalls and provide you with a solution that is both bespoke and expandable.

If you want a deeper dive into the world of business fusion then check out this video: