Is discussing digital strategy still important?
Digital strategy is commonly known as the process of implementing the relevant technological advancements to a business. Companies are constantly transforming digitally and until this trend halts, the importance of discussing digital strategy will forever remain. There are many definitions of what digital strategy is and here is what Novicell believes.
Strategy seen from a digital perspective
Businesses have a habit of mentioning digital strategy when they plan to introduce any digital initiatives but it might be just a social media strategy, a content strategy or an online marketing strategy. Creating plans to implement these initiatives are important but we believe these are only elements of a digital strategy.
Our recommendation is that as a business you need to consider the bigger picture, not only considering specific initiatives but considering the overall development of the company’s business strategy. Once the overall business strategy is planned effectively, the digital strategy will follow suit. Novicell focuses on the overall business strategy from a digital perspective in comparison to focusing solely on digital initiatives.
A challenge that businesses face is the assumption that the implementation of digital initiatives is a marketing task. Having a dedicated marketing team to improve the company’s online presence is fine but it should be discussed in the overall business strategy for it to be executed effectively.
‘Digital’ is still a marketing discipline - but it's more than that
Digital implementation requires extensive collaboration across the organisation. It is necessary to ensure the customer journey is linked across all contact points, ensuring that all processes and departments work optimally together to achieve the objectives set.
It is key to identify how digital developments are affecting the company's strategy and goals and how the company can and will exploit this development.
The move to digital is and will remain an essential part of customers' reality and the way they gain and process information. We cannot consider digital integration as a separate discipline in business, managed by a single department. Other departments should be included in this process e.g. business development, product development, organisational design, process optimisation etc.
To effectively market a product or service, it is important that departments involved in the creation of it are included in the marketing process as they have the knowledge and understanding needed to highlight the selling points of what is on offer.
Digital transformation and digital business strategy is a reoccurring process that needs constant attention, especially as the digital era is rapidly changing.
How to effectively implement digital transformation
When developing a digital business strategy, it is important to identify the objective for the strategy. Is it to boost the digital transformation of the entire business? or should the focus be on only a segment of the business?
It is essential to follow a model that ensures the best digital initiatives are chosen to effectively realise and challenge the overall business goals. This means that you end up with a plan that may affect both the overall business strategy and the way processes taken to achieve your goals.
Novicell’s model for digital business strategy
Novicell’s model for digital business strategy consists of four key phases: Analysis, Strategy, Operationalisation and Dividends. Below is each phase explained in more detail.
The Analysis phase focuses on identifying customer needs and expectations, the company’s goals and interests, market trends and competitor positioning. It is important to identify the available resources and skills within the organisation to ensure that the strategy becomes a reality. This creates an overview of the key challenges and opportunities and can identify where there is untapped potential that can elevate the business.
The Strategic phase enables the business to set the ambition and direction for digital transformation. Based on the key challenges and opportunities from the analysis phase, you can identify the key strategic areas of focus.
The Operationalisation phase breaks down the strategic focus areas into a personalised, phased action plan with concrete measures to boost the desired transformation processes. It is important to highlight the necessary internal resources, skills, processes and any organisational changes that need to be made to succeed in optimising your digital transformation process.
The Dividend phase helps identify the economic implications e.g. what does it cost to implement the strategy and transformation and what are the economic benefits for the business?
Finally, it is important to ensure resources and procedures are in place for continuous progress. Ongoing evaluation and adjustment of the strategy is necessary because as mentioned earlier ‘Digital transformation and digital business strategy is a reoccurring process that needs constant attention, especially the digital era is rapidly changing’.