In a challenging post-pandemic era, organisations are recognising the growing importance of differentiating their offerings, meeting customer needs and driving business innovation – with strategic digital transformation and expert consulting partners.
Your strategic planning for implementing digital technology is not just about having timelines and objectives on a spreadsheet. You need to be prepared with the right insights and overview – before you start investing significant time, resources and budget. You also need agreement and consensus among your key stakeholders about the path forward – and the working agility to get you to your digital goals.
It’s vital that you adopt proven best practices for digital strategic planning. Let’s explore four of the most important to consider in your own initiatives.
1. Align your digital stakeholders
To start on firm foundations, you need agreement on your strategic planning from all key stakeholders. As well as your core strategy team, this may include board members, business leaders and workforce teams. You may also seek input from customers, suppliers and partners.
A good way to focus and align your stakeholders is to create a digital vision. Your vision describes what your business wants to be from a digital perspective – while your digital strategy describes how you will make it happen. You should define a forward-looking vision that provides a detailed picture of your organisation’s desired future state in the light of new technology. It sets out what challenges you will solve for customers, how they will engage with your products and services – and what your teams, ways of working, and overall business will be like.
2. Understand your customer needs
Your digital strategic planning must align with your business objectives – particularly in meeting the needs of your customers. A good way to stay targeted on this is the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework. This enables you to think about what tasks customers actually want to achieve – and how technology can enable better ways to do this. It frees you from simply trying to recreate a version of the way things are done today – to focus on new opportunities and the ideal future state.
3. Research your digital ecosystem
To move forward confidently with your digital strategic planning, you need a clear understanding of your current status. Your digital transformation initiative should start with a discovery phase to gain an overview of your digital landscape, strengths and challenges. Ideally, conduct in-depth research into your technology and processes, and interview or survey your leaders, teams, customers and other stakeholders.
4. Evaluate trade-offs of build vs buy
Your strategic plan is likely to involve a range of digital products and solutions. The difficulty here is knowing whether the best option is to build a bespoke solution in-house – or to buy an off-the-shelf solution.
With the build option, you gain a task-specific solution, but face the challenges, costs and timelines of development. The buy option may be quicker to implement, well-supported and initially lower cost – but may be less fit-for-purpose and require costly ongoing licences. By evaluating the pros and cons of each option upfront, you can identify the ideal digital technology choices – which may involve a mix of build and buy to get the best of both.
Plan your route to digital strategy success
With the right approach and an expert digital consulting partner such as Elsewhen, your organisation can quickly adopt best practices in strategic planning – and build the roadmap to your digital future.