How To Successfully Implement a Digital Strategy

Developing and executing long-term digital strategies is key for organisations to offer customers new and innovative products and service solutions.
Author

Claudia Nelson

Digital acceleration drives companies to revisit and shape their digital strategies. Developing and executing long-term digital strategies is key for organisations to offer customers new and innovative products and service solutions. While the technology landscape is constantly evolving, so are the opportunities for innovation and new digital products.

Online Digital Acceleration

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet traffic in some countries increased by up to 60% *. This has significantly expanded e-commerce growth.

Australian organisations have strongly embraced the digital opportunities presented by COVID and had to accelerate their digital roadmaps.

Key figures illustrating Australia’s digital acceleration include:

  • One out of three Australian businesses expanded their online presence in the first 3 weeks of the pandemic**
  • 90% of Australian businesses adopted new technology to support business continuity**

 The challenge for many organisations is to develop comprehensive strategies, which deliver innovative services for the clients but are also aligned with their internal teams and strategic roadmap. Strong leadership is crucial to the success of a strategy!

The Focus Is on The Customer

The digital presentation and customer experience (CX) significantly influences customers’ purchasing decisions. There has been an increase in customer expectations of the digital products and services they are consuming, and the digital experience itself is critical for consumers when purchasing products online.

The customer is at the centre of decision-making. A customer-centric view is key and the number one focus for organisations developing a digital strategy.

One key element is data privacy and protection, which are top of mind for consumers. Actively managing data and cyber security is crucial for organisations to protect customer data and to gain and maintain trust. Consideration and inclusion of these factors inform a strong digital strategy and transformation program, which is vital to all organisations.

Terra Firma has closely worked with several clients across the corporate, government and non-for-profit sector on developing digital strategy and transformation programs.

What Are Some of The Key Learnings So Far?

Clear Vision and Strategy

A clearly defined, cross-functionally agreed and documented strategy and future end state, enables an organisation to collaborate holistically across all business functions. This is a multidisciplinary approach and the alignment and support with key internal teams will enable success.

Leadership Support

A digital strategy needs to be led from the top, ideally by the CEO. Top-level support is crucial to drive a digital transformation program due to its multiple interdependencies and timing of the change across an organisation.

Customer Led

The digital customer experience (CX) is as important, or can be even more important, than the actual product itself. How does an organisation make a significant difference to the customer, offer an outstanding customer experience (CX), and exceed customers’ expectations? These are critical points to be assessed and determined based on customer insights, understanding how to add value to the customer and enhance their experience through innovative solutions to various pain-points. Convenient and easy-to-use digital solutions are key.

Cross-functional Execution

Support and uptake across the organisation, including IT, Supply Chain, Marketing, Customer Service, and Insights & Loyalty is imperative to the successful execution of the digital strategy. Clearly understanding the IT state of maturity, capability, deliverables, and timelines is critical to deliver new and innovative digital products. Defining a digital cross-functional roadmap sets clear goals and accountabilities across an organisation.

Digital strategy and transformation are more than just a focus on technology, they are really about strategy and leadership to strengthen digital capability for the business, now and into the future.

Sources

* OECD (2020), Digital Transformation in the Age of COVID-19: Building Resilience and Bridging Divides, Digital Economy Outlook 2020 Supplement, OECD, Paris, www.oecd.org/digital/digital-economy-outlook-covid.pdf

**Technology is changing how we do business | Australia’s Digital Economy (pmc.gov.au)

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