Change is inevitable and in this new digital age, change is accelerating. For many firms, digital changes are creating a new range of opportunities that require investment and skills. Before diving in, I suggest that a digital strategy is required for the following reasons…
1. Filter for digital opportunities
Should you a) be engaging with customers on Facebook, b) building a mobile app or c) developing a Big Data platform?
This small selection highlights the range of opportunities digital creates that affect all aspects of your supply chain. However not all of them will deliver the incremental revenue or efficiencies the business requires.
Therefore the digital strategy should provide a method for filtering which digital opportunities are worth pursuing.
2. Method for prioritisation
A common issue I see is the overburdening of technical and marketing teams with digital projects and operational activities. An example is a busy digital marketing department with responsibilities for web content, conversion and customer acquisition, who are then asked to manage a new CRM platform or lead the development of a new mobile app.
Without good governance, teams try to take on too much and end up failing to deliver or creating something far below quality.
3. Create a core technology platform
MIT and Capgemini described some companies as “fashionistas”. The symptoms were the proliferation of multiple, disconnected digital projects developed in silos. Judged independently, these projects looked great but when combined they created confusion for customers, operations and IT support.
Your digital strategy should set out a clear standard for integration amongst digital projects.
4. To create accountability for digital initiatives
If the hype surrounding digital is to be believed (and I do believe some of it) – Big Data, social networks, open innovation, multichannel, and the plethora of other digital opportunities are going to net huge business returns. Customers will be throwing money at you. Right?
Perhaps the truth will be a little more conservative, but the principle here is that capital and operational expenditure on digital should generate a return for the business. Whilst the payback period may roll in to years, there should be revenue or profitability milestones that are measurable and reported on.
Digital strategy series
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write a series of articles on digital strategy for business. To stay up to date on these articles, subscribe to by email:
Let me know in the comments what topics you’d like me to cover.
For further reading I recommend: