As digital strategy becomes more integrated at every level of society, its applications have become more diversified and specific to individual industries and businesses. Considering these ten tips before you create your strategy will make your digital transformation more seamless, effective, and profitable.
1. Understand how digital innovation is changing your business model
Digital innovation and strategy are changing how we work and what the work is. Practically every industry has seen a top-to-bottom shift as a direct result of this revolution. Telehealth, for example, is still changing the way that doctors treat patients, and even bringing about major shifts in general attitudes about how best to approach patients.
Enterprise leaders need a strong sense of not only general digital trends, but also of the ones that directly affecting their business. focus your resources and attention on the technologies and trends that matter most.
2. Digital Strategy is about competitive advantage
It should be a given that you’re looking for operational efficiency. While making your business work faster and more effectively should always be a priority, the focus of your digital strategy should be getting your products into the hands of more customers and establishing yourself as an industry leader. The effective use of digital will be a key driver of how your top-line fares in the market.
3. Strategy takes leadership
There’s a reason that more and more companies around the world are bringing on executives to oversee digital operations. In large organizations in particular, digital still tends to exist in silos, with different initiatives working independently of one another to meet the needs of a given set of customers or clients. This kind of system isn’t necessarily a bad one, but strategy should come from the top, including digital strategy — get a Chief Digital Officer.
4. Start by aligning with business objectives
Give the people who matter most to the company a strong sense of progress right out of the gate. Deliver your strategy to customers, employees, and shareholders while demonstrating how it aligns with your current business objectives. This will assure all interested parties that your digital strategy is an active means of achieving important goals, rather than a distraction from them.
5. Understand the digital trends you’re adopting
Consumers are the ultimate judge of how effectively you’ve adopted a new trend, so consumer expectations should be a key driver of digital initiatives. For example, retail customers have come to expect an omni-channel experience, while medical patients and health insurance customers expect more hands-on, sensitive care than they did in the past.
6. Benchmark your current digital capabilities
How can you judge how far you’ve come if you’re not sure where you are today? Evaluate your current digital capabilities in order to determine the goals that are truly important to your business, as well as get a good sense of how quickly you can accomplish them.
As you’re setting your goals, keep company goals high. That means benchmarking not only against direct competitors, but against those in your industry who are best-in-class, even if their example feels distant and unattainable at the moment.
7. Match areas of improvement to reaching business objectives
Opportunities aren’t always gaps. Just because you can improve something doesn’t mean you should apply resources to them. Ask, “Will this move me closer to meeting my objectives.” To be best-in-class, you should start to be able to identify where diminishing returns begin.
8. Define what you need to deliver
What people, platforms, processes, and experiences are required for you to implement your strategy? If you haven’t adequately let the right people know what’s expected of them, or given them the tools they need to meet those expectations, your strategy won’t go far beyond the boardroom where you drafted it.
Determine what aspects of the customer experience are in most need of attention based on complexity and impact. What needs to be fixed fast? What changes can wait a little while, but could ultimately prove to be game-changers with the appropriate investment? By establishing a clear hit list of what can be done now, later, and well into the future, these actions will eventually assist your organization in avoiding directionless progress.
10. Create a roadmap
Sequencing your activities out is the most intuitive, important part of any digital strategy. Come up with an easy-to-follow roadmap that will help push every digital initiative through the entire organization. If you don’t take a holistic view of the process, activities might be put in the wrong order, forcing you to waste time and effort fixing things you thought you’d already fixed. A comprehensive roadmap will do plenty to guarantee your digital transformation is both timely and effective.