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11 ways to Improve Digital Transformation Strategy

Organizations that do not prioritize changing legacy business models will find that their customer relationships are at a crossroads. In this blog post, I will discuss 11 ways to improve your Digital Transformation Strategy.

Organizations that continue to see themselves as a collection of partnerships will not discover the next wave of digital strategies and businesses. If an organization is serious about changing its business and going digital, it must change its strategy and build for the future in parallel.

The methods used by organizations to build out their new digital strategies should be grounded in the digital technologies, and artificial intelligence capabilities required for success today and tomorrow.

In order to develop successful business processes and digital strategy, it’s important to understand where you’re starting from, what you’re likely to encounter along the way, and how your customers interact with your brand online.  

What is Digital Strategy?

Digital strategy is a set of plans, policies, and procedures that direct the direction of an organization’s digital business efforts to improve the overall organizational change. It includes use cases, goals, tactics, and strategies for how to achieve a company’s vision by developing online content, building relationships with customers, and engaging with them via multiple digital channels.   

The primary objective of a digital strategy is to improve the customer experience and develop new revenue streams from existing customers.

Digital strategies can take many forms, but they all have one thing in common: They are built for the future—not for yesterday or today.

A digital strategy should be created with an eye towards the direction of the company’s business strategy and its potential future success, not just now or next year.

What is Digital Transformation?

According to Gartner “digital transformation” describes a company’s efforts to create value by adopting new technology that improves its competitive position in both existing markets as well as emerging ones. It encompasses four areas of focus: marketing and sales; operations; organizational design; governance; and legal and compliance.

“Digital transformation is a term that has been used for many years but which only in the last few has become more broadly accepted,” said Gartner research director, George Crump. “It was originally applied to those companies that were acquiring information technology and getting better at using it to change the way they did business or improve customer experiences. This term covers both the strategic and tactical aspects of digital transformation.”  

The most common use of the word ‘digital’ is in reference to new ways of implementing computing technologies, but what does it mean when you’re talking about businesses? 

1 – Business leaders need to evaluate the current business strategy

The first step is understanding who you are, where you fit into the marketplace, what makes you unique among competitors, who your customers are, what motivates them to buy from you or use your products or services, and why they have chosen another option in the past when other options were available, what could motivate them again if they tried something else instead, and what inspires them to try something new.

2 – Identify your digital transformation capabilities, products, and services

Next identify the capabilities your organization needs to be successful in today’s digital marketplace. These capabilities are not just about technology or social media, although these technologies should certainly play a role in developing a strategy.

They also include:  

·     Business architecture that allows you to successfully leverage existing assets and create new business models

·     Digital marketing strategies that allow businesses to effectively engage customers through digital channels;

·     Systems and digital technology expertise so that you can continue to build out your strategy even as it evolves over time;

·     A competitive advantage over competitors who do not have those digital supply chains, utilize best practices in distribution channels, or who lose their edge due to changes in the marketplace

         The ability of an organization’s people (particularly its leaders as relates to cultural change) to think about how all of this fits together into a cohesive strategy for success at scale. It should be possible for an organization’s leaders, regardless of where they sit in the organization, to understand how their digital strategy supports business objectives and provides a competitive advantage over competitors.

3 – Change the business model

In this part, determine where you want to be in the future by understanding what your customers need from you today, how they interact with you online, and what motivates them to buy from or use your products or services. Developing this vision for the future allows an organization to align its people’s capabilities with what will enable it to succeed tomorrow. It also helps leaders identify key areas of focus that will help create effective strategies for moving forward.

The identification of specific customer needs that organizations must meet if they are going to attract customers who choose them over competitors; Identifying desired outcomes (or value propositions) that define success at scale, both short-term and long-term; Identifying key stakeholders who have an influence on these outcomes including employees, salespeople, partners, investors, boards of directors and other stakeholders.  

4 – Create metrics to track key performance areas

Now start developing performance metrics to measure desired outcomes. To build an effective digital strategy, it is important that leaders understand how they will measure success and what activities are required to reach their goals. This usually involves creating KPIs (key performance indicators) that provide visibility into critical business objectives such as sales volume, customer satisfaction, retention, or acquisition of new customers.

Once these KPIs are established for each key area of focus in your organization’s digital solutions, it becomes easier to develop strategies that will help you achieve those outcomes over time.

In order for organizations to be successful in building out their digital strategies today and tomorrow, they must integrate new technologies within the capabilities outlined above into every stage of the planning and implementation process from concept through execution. 

They also need executives who can visualize where their business is going and how it fits together with other businesses within a larger ecosystem of competitors. These leaders should not only be able to create compelling visions for moving forward but also have the ability to translate those visions into tangible strategies that are aligned with the needs of their customers and stakeholders.

5 – Create a Plan

Once you have identified the areas of focus and a way to measure business outcomes. it is time to create a plan. It’s important that this plan is based on an understanding of what will make your organization successful now, near, and in the future and how these digital transformation strategies will help you achieve those goals.

But before you can develop this plan, you must first understand why certain goals are important for your business and why they are important to the stakeholders who have influence over them.

To develop the most effective plans, leaders should Identify the critical success drivers for their businesses including financial performance, market position and growth, customer service, customer satisfaction, loyalty, employee engagement, innovation creativity, and stakeholder relationships.

Find what metrics are used to measure these drivers and how they fit into the overall strategy.  Develop digital systems that will help achieve these goals over time.

Call out specific outcomes (or value propositions) that define long-term digital transformation success at scale; Understand how their digital strategy supports business objectives and provides a competitive advantage over competitors by identifying where they need to improve and how they can achieve those improvements;

6- Establish a Digital Business Process

For most organizations, the process will represent the critical step in developing their digital strategy. The process needs to be used by the business units, and business operations teams within your organization to implement the strategies they are working on today. This process should provide guidance for all the teams involved in building out your digital strategy to help them identify how their work fits into the overall vision you have outlined for them.

7 – Identify Digital Business opportunities

Identifying new opportunities or ways to improve upon current products services practices as well as identifying risks or issues that could impact the progress of those initiatives. To build an effective digital strategy, it is important that leaders understand how they will be able to achieve their objectives by continuing to improve on existing digital practices.

8 – Build an Action Plan

A critical step and needs to be fully integrated into the overall strategy that was developed in Step 5. This plan will need to be communicated across all of your teams and stakeholders so they are aware of what actions they should take moving forward. 

9- Implement the Plan

Teams are working on implementing those strategies. It is important that leaders provide regular updates to all stakeholders so they understand how their efforts are progressing and what additional steps need to be taken moving forward.

If you would like more information on ways you can implement your digital strategy or help your organization realize its full potential then I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.  

10- Evaluate Progress

Include an assessment of how well each team is executing its plans. This information can be used by leadership teams to identify areas for improvement as well as determine which specific initiatives are working best within the organization at this time.

11- Continue to Review, Adapt and Plan for the future

Digital transformation is a never-ending process that organizations will need to continually evaluate as they continue to develop their digital strategies. This will help them identify areas where they need to improve moving forward in order for those initiatives to be successful. 

Conclusion

I believe that the digital transformation of organizations will continue to evolve in the coming years. As a leadership team in the digital world / digital economy, we need to stay ahead of the curve and understand how new capabilities of the digital platform, data analytics, machine learning, and cloud technology are impacting our industry. Furthermore, we need to be able to measure our progress.

If you have any questions or would like additional information please feel free to let me know by contacting me via my website or LinkedIn. For more information on the steps involved in building your digital strategy, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter

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