In a technologically driven world it is highly impossible to stay away from any form of digitalization. Business organizations have keyed into this transformation which ultimately led to the birth of digital marketing. This shift in focus from traditional to digital has been a great and profitable. According to Digital Strategy Conference (DSC), “Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage”.
In today’s organization, there are many ideas of what constitutes a digital strategy. A marketing executive will see a digital strategy as social media and web channels. An IT person would see a digital strategy as cloud. An operations executive will see it as data analytics. An R&D executive would see it as online products. A financial person will see it as online revenue channels. This broad spectrum of division leads to a lot of confusion and business executives are often left wondering whether they have an actual digital strategy or if they are simply probing here and there with some digital projects.
A recent survey, sponsored by Progress, finds digital transformation is happening in small steps and not as a large concrete plan. Most of the 700 decision makers in the survey, who were executives in charge of digital initiatives, say they are still taking incremental steps (75%), rather than having a digital strategy fully rolled out or in production. The survey conductors also looked at those who weren’t pursing digital marketing. Of those surveyed, 96% acknowledged that digital transformation is critical or important, yet 48% feel that it is “not a top priority.”
The Progress survey’s authors say that these executives see digital “as proxy for website content, e-commerce, social media, mobile and email marketing”. These initiatives mentioned above have been around for years and is vastly used by all companies. But business strategy is an evolving process and this is where digital strategy steps in.
In the recent years, many new technological elements have been introduced that is a game changer in the world of commerce. Cloud computing has become a huge part of the digital equation. It offers a way to abstract, automate and add processes and capabilities that may have previously been beyond the organisation’s grasp. Another added benefit of this innovation is that it acts as a storehouse of accumulated knowledge that can be shared or accessed across the client base.
The other important piece of the digital equation, that only emerged in the past two or three years, is the adoption of data analytics and integrating analytical thinking into all levels of business decisions. This has provided enterprises with insights into their sales and production. They are also developing ways to run this data through algorithms and rules engines to deliver better, more responsive service.
It is important to remember that digital strategy is both a concept and a thing, that is, a digital strategy should eventually lead to the creation of a concrete plan or roadmap. By establishing a goal and understanding the purpose of a company, executives can adopt those technologies which will provide a competitive advantage. It is important to acknowledge that there is no “right way” to become a digital enterprise. Also there is no unified theory of digital transformation as of yet.