Digital Strategy: Keep The Wheel Turning
What is Digital Strategy?
If you go to Wikipedia the answer you will get is this:
“Digital strategy is the process of specifying an organization’s vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits, digital investments and efforts provide to the organization.”
While this definition may seem very abstract it contains a few key points which allows us to greatly simplify it into something much more digestible:
At the core of this definition is the fundamental assumption that every organisation and digital investment has a goal. Moreover, that the goal of a digital investment is inextricably linked to the goals of the organisation.
Despite focusing on the digital assets of an organisation, at the end of the day digital strategy is still just a strategy. As such the process thereof can be broken up into four steps of strategy development:
One mustn’t however forget the fundamental building block of measurement, which is critical for each step of the way. This is especially relevant due to the measurable nature of the digital world, which is also one of its key strengths.
You might think this a very broad theoretical outline, which is hard to keep focused of in day to day activities. That may be true, especially since each phase will have its own sub processes which more often than not, incorporates elements from other phases. That said, I still think it is very important to have an ongoing and structured strategic outlook which incorporates these different phases, and most importantly the relation between them.
This means for instance, making sure that in the planning phase, a framework is properly outlined, to be effectively developed in the implementation phase, so that when the organisation has to react (possibly months or even years from now), it has a solid framework which allows it to be agile. A classic example would be how Amazon was able to completely change their ‘store front’ only hours after Steve Job passed away to accommodate the expected surge in interest in Steve and Apple in general.
At the end of the day my point is: Agility is arguably one of the most common elements which distinguish industry leaders. Moreover, it is only with a holistic and ongoing view of the strategic process that this agility can be achieved, especially in the digital space where things are moving so quickly.