Building a Digital Strategy

It is recommended that all business and technology executives engage with some urgency on the subject of evolving the organisation’s digital business strategy and digital transformation plans. The value of these discussions can be greatly enhanced with the participation of independent advisors, who may be helpful in challenging the present status and exploring creative solutions.

Be warned though that it can be wasteful aiming to organise a digital strategy around technology, skills, systems, and so on before seeking clear and coherent answers to the business strategy impact of digital on your business.

Some useful questions to seed the debate, with a view to defining a path to adding digital to your organisation’s competencies and capabilities, may include:

  • Does digital technology change the businesses you should be in?
  • What are your distinctive assets and capabilities and how could you create a new business by combining them with digital technology?
  • Could digital technology help you expand your company’s boundaries in the value chain downstream or upstream of your current businesses?
  • How could digital technology help improve key business processes?
  • Can the supply chain be accelerated, made more reliable with the use of digital technologies?
  • How could digital technology improve the way you add value to the businesses you are in?
  • How could digital technology make your company better at how it helps individual businesses become more competitive in their markets?
  • How could digital technology help you improve the cost and quality of the shared services you are providing to your businesses today?
  • Could a marketplace approach bring the discipline of competitive markets to your corporate services?
  • How could digital technology be used to improve your strategic planning, capital allocation, performance management, or other management processes?
  • Could digital technology change your target customer? Is it eroding your target market or is it opening up new potential targets?
  • Does digital technology affect the value proposition to your target customer?
  • Instead of providing a product or service for a fee, could you promise an outcome?
  • How could you use digital technology to enhance your physical products – say, by using virtual reality or add-on services which may increase demand for the real thing?
  • How can digital technology enhance the enterprise capabilities that differentiate you from your competition?
  • How can you use social media and big data and analytics to help you further differentiate it? What is the right level of investment in social media and big data for that purpose?
  • Where will digital technology have the greatest impact on your value chain? How can you invest proactively to get ahead of the curve?
  • How can you use technology to better understand customers and deliver what they want?
  • Is leadership aligned and committed to the vision?
  • Have you engaged the front line to both design and embed the digital strategy?

Not easy, but it is this type of constructive discussion and debate which can help focus attention ton adding the digital edge to your business strategy.

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