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5 Key Components of a Digital Strategy

Written by lindach

Jun 10, 2020

10/06/2020

These Innovations have been necessitated and/or have thrived because of several challenges which they in turn sought to address.

A lot of technological innovations have taken place over the last 10-15 years but let’s zero in on the three most notable ones that I believe have impacted the business environment more as we know it today, which innovations have also been the major bedrock or drivers upon which many other innovations have been built upon.

The first is artificial intelligence which refers to computers that use algorithms to perform Intelligent decisions, reasoning and problem-solving faster and sometimes better than humans.

The second is machine and deep learning and these access data and learns it to help build better understanding and make sense of that data.

The third innovation is automation. Automation basically entails integrating certain rules in your processes that will trigger certain actions if the rules are met or not met. This allows certain processes to run unsupervised once the rules and triggers etc have been defined and the automation has been enabled to run.

 

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These Innovations have been necessitated and/or have thrived because of several challenges which they in turn sought to address. The first is the amount of data that businesses and consumers are generating and receiving and need to process daily. Other innovations that are embedded with the aforementioned innovations and have capabilities to solve real business and consumer needs have sprouted up, leading to a much faster pace of life such that the old manual, much slower approach does not find space in the current order of work and life. Consumers are also demanding more seamless shopping experiences whether online or in-store, have a proliferation of choices such that brand loyalty has become an expensive commodity, their interactions in and around their homes, work and places of leisure and play are inundated with almost frictionless and sometimes virtual experiences, it is impossible to take them to the old world they used to know. The more consumers get exposed, the more they want. These demands by consumers have made the business landscape more complex. On top of that we also have businesses who use these innovations to drive competitiveness, cut costs, simplify work for their staff and interactions and experiences with other stakeholders, the earlier adopters, now even going as far as demanding that their suppliers and customers also implement such technologies in their processes to be able to do business with them. And this is the trend that business is following such that businesses that ignore these developments do so to their own detriment.

The second complexity that has been in existence for a while now is globalisation. While globalisation provides businesses with larger marketplaces and consumers with more purchasing options, it presents businesses with even more challenges of handling huge amounts of unprocessed data from various sources that is difficult to process and make use of without the aid of more sophisticated tools. Meanwhile, consumers are being inundated with information on the internet offering them multiple purchasing options. It therefore becomes key for businesses to have real consumer intelligence so they can properly position their offers.

The third source of complexity is increased regulation as governments and regulators also try to deal with the explosion of information and data and put in place regulations that protect consumers, reduce fraud, tax evasion and other vices.

From the above we find that the business environment was already complex, very complex indeed even before covid-19 came into play, hence a saying by Accenture that “ This presents an opportunity—and a need—for many companies to build the competences they wish they’d invested in before: to be more digital, data-driven”.

So clearly organizations need to go back to the drawing board and come up with new strategies to handle the new landscape that they find themselves in It cannot be business as usual.

 

The following are the 5 key components of any digital strategy that organisations can follow.

 

People

By people we refer to customers, its employees and other stakeholders that include partners, suppliers, government, shareholders and directors. When an organisation looks at its people it needs to start by looking at its customers because they are the ones that the organisation exists to serve. It needs to explore their customers’ needs and how the customers want to be provided with more pleasing and uncomplicated experiences and interactions with their brand. Then it needs to look at how to simplify work so their employees by clearly defining what each of their staff does and release them from repetitive mundane that can be performed by machines and computers better. The organisation can then turn to other stakeholders and look at what they can deliver to preserve and enhance the value for the other stakeholders like seamless connectivity of systems, corporate governance, improvement of compliance and transparency for the organisation and its processes.

Processes

Businesses can look into how their processes can be reengineered to empower their employees to deliver the work they do, and how they integrate their work with each other, partners, suppliers, government and other stakeholders. It also needs to explore how their brand’s cues are perceived. Are they perceived as being authentic, consistent and compelling? Can users interact with them with ease and delight

Products

Products and services may need to be redesigned depending on their current life cycle and in view of the innovations that we discussed earlier so they are competitive and relevant in the post covid-19 era. If they are still relevant they would then need to be taken through the next examination.

Channels

The next step is to look at the channels that the products and services will be delivered through to reach the target customers. Choice of channels may still include brick and mortar, websites, ecommerce sites, social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, branded apps and other upcoming channels like Tik-Tok and Reddit.

Technology Platforms

Once a business has going through the above 4, it is ready to review and to determine the platforms and tools that it needs to service the four variables that we mentioned above. The thing to remember is that the tools are not the drivers of strategy and that they must align with the goals of the business. Platforms that may be considered include cloud servers, content management systems, data analytics platforms, augmented, virtual and mixed reality platforms, mobile apps, payment platforms etc.

"So clearly organizations need to go back to the drawing board and come up with new strategies to handle the new landscape that they find themselves in It cannot be business as usual. !"

– Anonymous

" This presents an opportunity—and a need—for many companies to build the competences they wish they’d invested in before: to be more digital, data-driven."

– Accenture

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