With all the tintinnabulation about customer experience and digital transformation, its natural to wonder, “Do we need to create a digital strategy for our business?” Certainly, we’ve seen a lot of interest in “Digital Strategy” across a broad swath of industries. But is investing the time and energy in building a digital strategy really worth it for your company right now?
In a recent Harvard Business Review post, “Don’t Draft a Digital Strategy Just Because Everyone Else Is”, Ken Favaro argues that a digital strategy may not be the right move for you. Mr. Favaro states that rushing into a digital strategy “… risks wasting enormous time, money, and opportunity. It also risks a debilitating confusion of the company’s real strategy, true needs, and right priorities…”
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Instead of rushing to get started on a digital strategy, Mr. Favaro suggests you ask yourself the following five questions:
- Does digital technology change the business you should be in?
- How could digital technology improve the way you add value to the businesses you are in?
- Could digital technology change your target customer?
- Does digital technology affect the value proposition to your target customer?
- How can digital technology enhance the enterprise capabilities that differentiate your company?
I won’t dive into the detail behind each question, but these are important questions to consider. You can see more of the context of each question on the HBR site here: Don’t Draft a Digital Strategy Just Because Everyone Else Is
Of course, there is a counter argument as to why you should invest time into a digital strategy. Often times companies can’t “see” beyond their current capabilities. We often refer to this as “we’ve always done it this way”. For example, Mr. Favaro mentions that “just because digital technology gave rise to ZipCar … doesn’t mean it changes the basic business models of the big auto manufacturers.” My counter is that a digital strategy should expose you to the possibilities of doing things differently in the future. In fact, we are working with big auto manufacturers to change some of their business models through the use of IoT, APIs, Customer Experience systems, and other new digital technologies.