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How to design a digital strategy that evolves with your business

January 11, 2021

By Marion Siebert, courtesy of Brightly

Why do businesses fail to thrive even with a digital transformation (DX) strategy in place? Because flawless execution is useless without meticulous planning. Having a well-constructed roadmap in place is crucial to any major endeavor, but the quality of the planning matters just as much as the delivery.

In this post, we’ll explore some major pitfalls and misconceptions about digital strategies and what you can do to avoid falling into them.

Digital strategies require flexibility

A digital strategy, no matter how innovative, will inevitably die if left alone. This involves more than execution; it’s about building a dynamic plan with the flexibility to adapt and adjust to the organization’s current needs, rising customer demands, and emerging technologies. According to a recent McKinsey report, what sets apart the top economic performers from others is “how quick and adaptable they are in setting, executing, and adjusting their digital strategies—in other words, the velocity and adaptability of their operating models for digital strategy.”

Make it a company-wide effort

Thinking that a digital plan should be addressed exclusively by those who already have a grip on emerging trends and technologies is a mistake. A successful digital strategy has buy-in from every leader in the company. It’s important to involve every key stakeholder and to provide education on topics they might not immediately understand. Eliminating digital ignorance is an issue that must be addressed, as it will help ensure fewer mistakes are made along the way (e.g. burning resources on fleeting trends or adopting technologies that might not be the best fit for your specific business). Bottom line? Every company leader should understand and contribute to the strategy before it’s implemented.

Leave room for innovation

To make the most of any business transformation, it’s imperative to step outside of your comfort zone. This process involves taking calculated risks and accepting that, no matter how much business acumen you’ve accrued, there’s still much to learn. One of the most effective ways to thrust yourself into out-of-the-box thinking is to collaborate with digital leaders and subject matter experts who aren’t a part of your regular routine. Some of these people may already exist within your organization, but it’s critical to leverage the experience of trusted advisors outside of it, too. Deploying solutions like Team as a Service (TaaS) can help take some of the weight off you and your team by helping to pave the path to innovation, smoother processes, and improved ROI.

Tap into top tech talent

Does your strategy involve a plan and budget for investing in and leveraging digital talent? It should. The demand for digital talent is soaring, but it turns out most organizations can’t keep up. To mitigate this growing problem, many companies are either turning to M&A or attempting to upskill their existing teams. This is another scenario in which TaaS is a smart option, because it provides a faster, more agile (and often more affordable) solution.

Treat your digital strategy like it’s a living thing

Too often business leaders treat their digital strategies as a one-and-done, or as a plan that only needs checking on annually. This type of neglect can lead to devastating outcomes, because by the time your attention is required, it’s usually too late. Instead of waiting until something stops working, do yourself a favor and treat your strategy as a living thing. In order to thrive, it requires consistent maintenance, energy, and appreciation. Measure your wins and your mistakes throughout every step of the journey, so that each time you go back, you can swiftly and smartly adapt your plan as needed.

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