The failings of companies unable to adapt to the ever advancing digital era and the horror stories that occur because of that, has been covered by the media heavily in recent years. The likes of Kodak and Blockbuster, once both large and internationally recognised brands brought to their knees by ineffective strategies for digital adoption. Digital Strategy & ICT can be a difficult beast to understand with regard to what your company needs and then how to implement it effectively. There are generally a lot of stakeholders who will be effected by to adoption or not of new technologies and like all business decisions the implications of new technologies and strategies and the impact they will have on stakeholders needs to be assessed.
We’ve created 4 rules for and ICT/Digital Strategy implementation that should point you in the right direction. If you need additional assistance look at our ICT/Digital Strategy page here. Something to keep in mind through the process is the “Golden Circle”; why as in why your company exists, how as in how will you achieve your goals and what are you actually offering.
1. Assess The Strategic Impact of Digital
A good Digital Strategy starts by understanding the competitive environment and how it’s likely to change. New technologies can radically reshape business economics which means it’s essential to think through the implications for your own organization and your broader ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and partners. What new offerings can digital enable? What new competitors can it empower?
The impact and opportunities of digital will vary by industry and by function. Core business processes can be reinvented; for example, supply chains are being reconfigured thanks to Industry 4.0, making it possible to operate smaller, more flexible facilities closer to customers that can rapidly deliver new products tailored to local demand patterns. Digital platforms and their related ecosystems can offer access to borderless global markets.
2. Outline The End Goal Of The Digital Strategy
Set out what you want to achieve with this strategy, what is the “big picture” for your business. When doing this it is important to be ambitious but not realistic, often companies can get tunnel vision and begin to lose focus of the environment around them which often is what facilitates how much can be achieved with a Digital Strategy.
Changing your core service offering can be a risky move especially when it is something that has been established for a substantial period of time but that does not mean you can’t adapt it. Many fast food chains for example have kept their fundamental product the same but have digitised elements of their offering such as creating apps for ordering which allows a more efficient customer service
3. Culture Shift
As with every major change within business there is usually some resistance from stakeholders for a multitude of reasons ranging from technical to personal frustrations. Managing this change is very important to the success of implementing an effective Digital Strategy. Lewin’s Three Stage Model is often adopted as a very effective way of managing change, the model has three main stages; Unfreezing, Changing and Refreezing, within these stages there are multiple steps to making them effective. The basic idea of the model is that you “unfreeze” the old processes, implement the change and then “refreeze” the new processes.
Once a Digital Strategy has been implemented, just like any change, the results should be measured effectively. Ways of measurement can vary from company to company and very much depend on what the initial goals were. Measurement can really be anything from sales to efficiency to cost reduction. The level of effectiveness is all in context to the company in question, some companies may be quite progressive in their ways so a digital strategy would have fewer barriers to overcome so it is more effective compared to a more traditional company.