Do you have a clear digital strategy?
What is a digital strategy and why does your company need one?
In a world of increasing digitalisation, it is important to have a clear plan for digital initiatives and goals for your company – a digital strategy. It should include your vision of the reasons and goals for digitalisation, your mission statement for which parts of your business you want to digitalise, and your strategy for how you will work with digitalisation. In short, it is about finding the answers to why, what, and how you want to digitise your company – and the clearer the answers, the better.
It might seem a bit redundant to develop a detailed strategy instead of just tackling things one by one as they come. Is the digital not just a small part of running a business? Surely you can digitise as time allows or in response to a particular current need? Of course, you can work on digitalisation without an overall plan – but then you also risk wasting a lot of resources. Without a digital strategy, you could end up spending both time and money on an overly wide range of initiatives that neither cover the most important needs nor synergise – and may not even be profitable.
Think of your digital strategy as a whole of coherent sub-elements – for example, strategies for digital security, financial systems, and marketing, including social media. This will ensure that all efforts contribute to your overall goals. Furthermore, digitalisation is so important nowadays that it is a clear parameter of competitiveness, and you should therefore integrate the digital strategy into your overall business strategy. Staying up-to-date and meeting the expectations of potential customers has a direct impact on your position in a changing market.
Digitalisation brings efficiency and profit.
Being at the forefront of digitalisation strengthens your company’s competitiveness, but there are additional benefits to be gained. Whether internally within your organisation or externally in communicating with and servicing potential customers, digitalisation and automation of workflows means greater efficiency. There are many options, and even small initiatives can have a big positive impact. For example, a user-friendly online order form for customised products can lead to fewer erroneous deliveries and thus higher profits. At the same time, eliminating or at least minimising the number of long phone calls from customers to get a special order just right can save time.
When you use digital tools to work smarter and more efficiently, you not only achieve significant savings, but you also increase the satisfaction of both your customers and your employees. In other words, a digitalised business is productive, profitable, and attractive. Take the first step or continue your ongoing journey towards a higher degree of digitalisation and an easier everyday life – but remember to do it strategically.
Be strategic with digitalisation.
It is important to approach digitalisation in a considered and goal-oriented way. If you are clear about your needs and objectives from the outset, you will be better equipped to develop the right digital solutions. This will help you avoid launching digital initiatives where unnecessary and ensure that you digitise in the right order. As mentioned, a digital strategy must provide a clear picture of vision, mission, and strategy – a picture that is shaped by asking the right questions to yourself as well as your employees and working together to find the answers. Why is digitalisation important to you? What do you want to achieve? Where do you see potential in digitising and what is most important? Analyse your processes, make a list of your digitalisation potential, and evaluate projects in terms of benefits versus effort. This will allow you to identify the initiatives that make the most sense for your company and its target groups, and to prioritise your work on digitalisation. A strategy helps to ensure that you reach your goals, so get your digital strategy in order.
4 key areas of strategic digitalisation.
Strategic digitalisation should be based on data! About the company and its current situation, the market, competitors, and your customers. This will allow you to assess where it makes the most sense for you to digitise. Also, remember to allocate enough resources to digitalisation – it may be tempting to make budget cuts on the digital front, but it is worth prioritising both the development of a digital strategy and the following initiatives.
With data as a foundation and starting point in current processes, it becomes easier to see what needs to be digitised. For example, consider whether internal workflows and the interaction between different departments are working optimally. Perhaps similar problems repeatedly arise as a consequence of how you communicate with and serve your customers. What improvements can be made through digitalisation? At the same time, think of the digital strategy as part of your overall business strategy, rather than as multiple and smaller separate initiatives. What goals do you have for your company and how can digital initiatives help you achieve them?
Be conscious of your target audience! What is their online behaviour and what media do they use? Digital initiatives are directed at someone – be it internal or external. And the better the digital tools work for the intended user, the better. User friendliness is about both enjoyment and efficiency.
On which platforms should you digitise? It could be simply (further) developing your website, creating a new digital tool for managing inventory internally, setting up a stand to help customers in-store, creating an app for your webshop, or something else entirely. Maybe it is about online marketing across multiple media, and you need to consider where best to communicate with your target audience? Each medium has its own benefits and challenges, so it is important to consider where best to implement your digital strategies for the best results and to get closer to your goals.
Do you need help?
Do you need help identifying where you could benefit from digitalising your company and developing a digital strategy? At design concern, we are ready to analyse and advise. We can also easily design and implement solutions to transform your strategy into digital initiatives.