Businesses increasingly recognise the danger of cyber attacks and their potential impact on their operations, security, reputation, and income. As a result, investing in security controls, such as monitoring tools, multifactor authentication services, and security awareness training, has benefits.
For a business to be truly secure, it must have a well-defined pathway to address future cyber security and needs as part of developing its cyber security strategy. For example, the NHS has recently launched a seven-year digital plan designed to ensure the safety of its data, systems, and networks.
The strategy involves strengthening existing cyber security measures and investing in new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology to help protect the organisation from future cyber-attacks and threats. It also includes plans for improved access to patient records, a shared care plan platform, and better use of data from electronic health records.
What is Digital Strategy?
The term “digital strategy” is expanding and becoming increasingly important to executives, as well as a popular topic in the news. In simple terms, digital strategy is, by definition, a set of actions aimed at achieving business objectives by using digital methods.
The digital strategy does not require an entirely new approach to doing business. While technology may have evolved, business’s fundamental principles remain unchanged.
The insights on successful business strategy still apply in the digital age. The basic principles of achieving and maintaining business success remain the foundation for modern digital strategy.
What Should a Digital Strategy Include?
The primary business model is the foundation of digital strategy. Therefore, digital usage in a business cannot be studied in isolation as it is a part of the Company’s operation and goals.
A digital strategy’s success relies on the full range of the team’s collective skills, including developers, designers, marketers, strategists, and content writers. It is not something that originates in the cloud alone.
Next, the business needs to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of its employees and how they will collaborate to develop a cohesive strategy.
Prioritise setting up the goals, people, and processes before selecting the appropriate platforms. It’s important to remember that technology should be a tool rather than the main strategic focus. Therefore, the selection of platforms will be based on each Company’s specific goals. It can range from cloud servers, content creation and management systems, and data analytics systems to mixed reality, artificial intelligence, geo-based apps, and other options.
To develop a digital strategy, you must first identify the platforms where you want to implement it. Then, you can place value on specific products, such as digital services such as apps, wearables, responsive websites, IoT intelligent products, and augmented reality experiences, to make up your strategy.
After you’ve created your digital products, you need to decide which channels will be most effective in delivering them to your audience. Which channels should you use to connect your products with your target market?
Some examples of communication channels are shopping in person, sending emails, using social media, networking in the workplace, accessing intranet and websites, and remote connections through IoT.
To ensure a good user experience, it is crucial to have a clear and consistent brand visual identity, an authentic company voice, and a user-friendly interface that provides a delightful experience to the users.
Regarding the digital strategy framework, focusing on people beyond just your customers is crucial. A successful digital transformation should simplify the experience for your employees, vendors, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Common Elements of Digital Strategy
Choose a Leader
Choosing the right person to lead the digital strategy is crucial and depends on the Company’s culture, structure, and priorities. The leadership can rest with the CEO or a designated Chief Digital Officer. Still, their influence should match the scope of the digital strategy to ensure that management in every department buys into the plan and implements necessary changes effectively.
Attack vs. Defend
McKinsey & Company recommends that companies classify their digital business threats and opportunities and compare them to their objectives. This helps determine whether they should approach new projects proactively or defensively.
Take a Measured Approach
A digital strategy typically involves an assessment process to ensure that new technology complements or expands the current business. For example, suppose you are concerned that your Company is falling behind in the digital realm. In that case, you might be tempted to undertake a project without considering how it fits into your current strategy.
However, by being aware and proceeding deliberately, you can avoid wasting resources on endeavors that do not align with your business needs and priorities.
Digital transformation aims to establish a solid digital business foundation, allowing organisations to adapt to technological changes and customer expectations by continually reinventing themselves.
To ensure a digital edge to the business, the digital strategy must be forward-thinking enough to navigate changes in the digital economy.
The Five Rules of Digital Strategy
Assess the Strategic Impact of Digital
To develop a strong digital strategy, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the evolving competitive landscape and anticipate how it may become. In addition, as new technologies can significantly impact business operations, assessing the implications for your organisation regarding customers, suppliers, and partners is essential. This includes identifying new growth opportunities that digital transformation can enable and considering the potential emergence of new competitors.
The effects and potential benefits of digital technology will differ depending on the industry and function. Digital advancements have allowed for the reconstruction of essential business processes, such as supply chains, through Industry 4.0. This allows smaller and more adaptable facilities to be closer to customers, resulting in faster delivery of new products tailored to local demand patterns.
Set Your Digital Ambition High
Successful digital organisations begin by envisioning ambitious goals, whether it’s to enhance their current strengths or explore new opportunities. An effective digital strategy aims to improve the value proposition significantly. Network effects in numerous digital fields result in winner-takes-all scenarios, where the first entrants and quick adopters hold a significant competitive advantage.
Place Big Bets
To effectively manage priority initiatives, viewing them as a portfolio and implementing those that will have an immediate impact is recommended. These short-term successes, such as digital initiatives such as precision marketing, AI-powered pricing and promotions, and digitally-driven cost reduction, can provide the capital and resources needed to tackle more strategic, high-impact priorities in the future.
Demonstrating progress to board members, investors, and the organisation is also possible with a portfolio approach.
Build New Strategic Muscles
Organisations must develop new capabilities and cultural changes to support and achieve a successful digital strategy. This means creating new strategic approaches and digital strategies that complement existing strengths and enable seamless cooperation.
Redeploying existing talent and their digital skills is just as crucial as finding new digital talent since the latter is becoming scarce. Therefore, utilising the available talent for initiatives that can maximise their potential is essential.
Consider sharing resources, expertise, and capabilities across business units, divisions, or regions for new and existing talent rather than dedicating them to a single location.
Manage Transformation Actively
Although you don’t have to start from scratch while transitioning to digital, specific challenges and areas require your attention. For instance, you should keep a tab on how quickly the significant digital technologies in your industry are advancing. Consequently, you must update your transformation plan periodically to align with the latest strategy.
Traditional top-down innovation strategies effectively develop approaches in industries where technology evolves slowly. As a result, technological progress can either follow a linear or discontinuous path.
Knowing What You Want Your Digital Strategy To Accomplish
You might wonder why digital strategy is essential if the business strategy remains unchanged. Technology is a valuable tool that has increased the speed of doing business. Previously, retailers had to research, plan and prepare for their summer styles while there was still on the ground.
Before, publishers required material to be submitted six months before release; nowadays, digital technology allows for just-in-time production, rapid A/B testing, personal RFID tagging, and various methods for direct real-time feedback.
Although businesses can utilise various technologies, they should only do so if it aligns with their ultimate strategy. The purpose of technology is to serve as a means to help the Company reach its goals rather than being the end goal itself.