The fourth industrial revolution, changing customer demands, COVID-19, digitisation. These are some of the major reasons why organisations found themselves needing to adapt to digital transformation or finding themselves struggling to stay afloat. To survive and remain standing amidst these factors organisations need to have digital transformation as a strategic priority, and it needs to be underpinned by an effective digital strategy.
The purpose of a digital strategy
It is important for every organisation to have an effective business strategy, as it sets a clear direction of where the organisation is heading, and it clarifies the goals and objectives put in place to get there. Included in the business strategy must be a digital strategy. A digital strategy is not a stand-alone strategy that is meant to be implemented outside the overall business strategy. It is an integral part of your organisation's strategy as it influences how you use automation, digital platforms, and other innovations to grow, gain a competitive edge and remain relevant.
With market demands changing, organisations cannot afford to remain behind. Digital transformation is an important part of any business transformation. The New York Times has showcased how integral a digital strategy is to a business strategy. Due to digitisation of content, the New York Times could no longer rely on printing newspapers as its core business model. It needed to swiftly respond to its readers' demands, as most of them were using technology to access content. By understanding their readers and recognising that their demands are changing, the New York Times has been able to succeed as a highly successful and profitable multimedia platform.
"A digital strategy is an integral part of your overall business strategy, as it influences how your organisation uses automation, digital platforms, and other innovations to grow, gain a competitive edge and remain relevant. "
Developing a successful digital strategy
A successful digital strategy is multi-faceted. It touches on almost every area of the organisation. It also brings with it various technologies and platforms, which can be a daunting exercise for organisations to come up with a successful digital strategy. There are a number of considerations to look at when developing a digital strategy;
Know and understand your market
Each organisation is driven by stakeholder demands, be it customers or the public the organisation is serving. In order for organisations to remain the organisation of choice, they need to know and understand their market. Understanding the needs of your stakeholders (be it a need for more automated services, better collaboration, ease of use or convenience) is important in setting a successful digital strategy, and in implementing the right technologies to effectively respond to the changing needs. It is in recognising the shifts and trends happening in your market so that you can adapt and change quickly.
Align your digital strategy to your organisational strategy
Your organisation's digital strategy is not independent of the overall organisational strategy. The digital strategy needs to be aligned and support the organisational goals and objective. As an example, if your organisation's goal is to grow customers or increase customer engagement, your digital strategy needs to be clear on how it will digitally enable the organisation to reach these objectives.
Understand the digital technology landscape
There are a lot of technologies out there to select from, and implementing the wrong technologies can prove to be costly for organisations. Keeping abreast of trends in emerging technologies is key to developing a digital strategy and plan that will help your organisation to remain relevant and in some cases be at the forefront of digital transformation in your industry. Understanding the existing technologies in your organisation, as well as new technologies available at the time is also of critical importance. An organisation can develop an aggressive and ambitious digital strategy, but without the availability of the right technologies and platforms, the strategy may not succeed.
Make agility part of your culture's DNA
What we can learn from the likes of The New York Times, Netflix, Disney and Adobe is that agility was at the centre of their digital and organisational strategies. In order to stay relevant and take advantage of opportunities in the market, these organisations embraced agility and let go of rigidity. Market demands change at a rapid rate, so does technology. An ability to adapt and change the digital strategy as the environment changes, is what will help your organisation implement a successful digital transformation.
Whether your organisation's digital strategy needs a review or needs to develop a digital strategy from scratch, our consultants are available to help and guide you through the process.