Saturday, April 18, 2020

Digital Strategy Does Not Exist

Digital Strategy Does Not Exist
Let me say it again. There is no such thing as a digital strategy. Honestly. If you think your organization needs a new digital strategy in 2020, then I’m sorry to say that you’ve completely missed the boat.

It is misguided and dangerous to be creating a separate digital strategy for your organization in a world that is not “going digital”. We already are digital.

There is no digital strategy. Just strategy in a digital world. - Bud Caddell

What your organization needs is a strategy with a mix of strategic choices that are supported by digital capabilities. These are just one of the many kinds of capabilities that your organization needs to achieve its chosen strategic positioning. And your positioning is what you will find at the intersection of the where-to-play and how-to-win choices. See “What Is Strategy? and What Isn't."

Besides digital strategy, it seems that the whole business world is talking about digital transformation these days. Just look at the search trends for both of the terms.

But while more people are talking more about digital transformation, it’s pretty clear that many are still missing the point.

As cool as it is to discuss new technologies such as blockchain, AI, robots, edge computing, and the internet of things (IoT), the focus on technology can steer the conversation in the wrong direction.

Because when it comes to digital transformation, digital is not the answer.

Transformation is.

Technology itself doesn’t provide value to a business. It never has (except for technology in products). Instead, technology’s value comes from doing business differently because technology makes it possible.

E-commerce is not about the internet — it’s about selling differently.

Analytics is not about databases and machine learning algorithms — it’s about understanding customers better, or optimizing maintenance processes, or helping doctors diagnose cancer more accurately.

IoT is not about RFID tags — it’s about radically synchronizing operations or changing business models.

In our digital world, a strategic focus on digital sends the wrong message.  Creating a “digital strategy” can focus the organization in ways that don’t capture the true value of digital transformation.

In a nutshell: You don’t need a digital strategy. You need a better strategy, enabled by digital capabilities.

When you need some guidance on how to define and measure project success have a look at my Project Success Model here or by clicking on the image.

The Project Success Model
Posted on Saturday, April 18, 2020 by Henrico Dolfing