Digital is known for its fast-paced nature. With a constantly evolving landscape, it can feel hard to keep up with everything digital while also positioning your business to have a competitive edge.
But having a strong digital strategy in place can make all the difference. It’s easy to think that just switching over a few processes or systems to a newer digital solution is enough, but you need more than that to succeed.
An effective digital strategy isn’t something that can just be thrown together. You need to take a step back and consider all corners to help you build a strong foundation. This can be broken down into the 5 W’s and H; Why, Who, What, When, Where, and How.
Answering these questions will help you build a digital strategy that’s innovative, futureproofed, and poised to deliver the results you need.
Why are you creating the digital strategy?
Take the time to really think about why you’re creating a digital strategy. Why now? Your digital transformation must have meaning for it to be effective and receive buy-in from everyone throughout your organisation. Will your strategy align with your wider business objectives? There’s no one-size-fits-all digital strategy. You need to truly understand why you’re creating it and how you want it to help your business in the long-term. To do this you need a deep understanding of how all areas of your business currently operate, and how each part of your organisation works together.
Who is this strategy for?
People should be at the centre of your digital strategy. Digital transformation touches every aspect of your business, which means it’s essential to keep different departments looped into the conversation while building your strategy. Get to know your different teams and what a typical workday looks like for them. This lets you gain more insight into how they work and can also give them the opportunity to feedback into the challenges they currently face, their goals, and what they need to help them get there. This will help you create a strategy that addresses every area of your business and works for everyone – ensuring it can help move your business forward positively.
What are you trying to achieve?
A strategy is only worth as much as the clear objectives and goals it sets out to achieve. You need to be clear on what exactly you want digital transformation to help your business attain. Do you want to reduce operational costs? Are you looking to improve workforce efficiency? Perhaps you’re hoping to increase accessibility for your different teams? Only when you know what your goals are, can you work towards getting there in a realistic and planned out fashion. Place measurable objectives and milestones for when each should be met, so you can keep on-track once the strategy is implemented.
How are you going to get there?
Once you know where you’re going, you can then start thinking about what your journey is going to look like and how you’re going to arrive at your goals. Can you leverage current technologies you already have in place? Have you identified other digital solutions that can help meet your objectives? You need to find the right solutions that will work for your business and goals.
But then, what next? Have you looked at risk management and ensured your strategy protects your business with cyber security controls in place? Are you prepared to implement these new changes throughout your organisation? But there’s also more to consider – such as ensuring everyone across your department understands why these new solutions will help them and how to take advantage of the most useful features for them. Adoption and training plans will be vital to making your strategy a success and cannot be overlooked.
When are you going to make this happen?
Now you know why you’re creating your digital strategy, what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to make it happen – the next step is to plan out when these changes are going to happen. Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight; cutting corners to rush through changes will vastly reduce the chance of success. Your transformation needs to be carefully planned and rolled out. Rolling out changes in stages can help minimise business disruption, and also help make sure each department feels ready and confident using the new processes and systems. Putting in place set timeframes will help you have milestones to work towards and keep you on track to ensure implementing your strategy doesn’t fall by the wayside.
Where is your strategy going to take you in the long run?
Your digital strategy shouldn’t just be a short-term fix to tide you over for now. You should always be looking to the future. Where do you want your business to be in five years? Ten years? This means also thinking about what lies ahead for your industry and anticipating how things may evolve over the next few years. Your strategy should always aim to be scalable and flexible, so it’s prepared to grow and change alongside your business needs. You can then have peace of mind that your digital strategy is futureproofed and ready to adapt with you and keep delivering the results you need over time.
Your digital transformation needs to be a living, breathing thing. You should look at it more as a digital transformation journey, rather than a set destination – and your digital strategy is your trusty companion along this ride.
Taking the time to break down exactly why you’re creating this strategy, thinking about what it’s going to help you achieve, and knowing how you’re going to get there, will help you plan out a strategy that’s poised to be not only successful, but able to guide you into the future as your business evolves and grows.
Putting together all the right elements for your digital strategy can take specialist expertise, resources and time that you may not have available to you. Here at Pi Digital, our knowledgeable Digital Strategy Team can work with you to get to know the ins-and-outs of your business and develop a tailored digital strategy that addresses your business needs and helps you achieve the results you’re looking for.