A company is driven forward by continuous objectives, renewal and following market trends. Digitalisation is absolutely a trend that has a significant influence on the success of organizations. Of course, everyone has heard of it, they know its advantages, but when it comes to the operation of their own company, the question arises: How do we do it?
How can technology be brought in line with the vision of business? How not to work unnecessarily and inefficiently? How do you manage to achieve goals in a challenging modern world?
The digital strategy helps you navigate through the mazes of questions! With a well-designed concept, failures can be avoided, the organization can begin to develop significant growth and development.
Traditional-minded companies which are not engaged in the development of this area, are already beginning to have serious disadvantages in competing to maintain existing market shares and to acquire new ones.
Digital strategy has a major place in organizations. The more it is integrated into the corporate strategy, the more the company can adapt to the requirements of the dynamically developing digital market.
What is a digital strategy?
The digital strategy is a set of action plans to help achieve using technological resources the objectives set. However, this is not the same as IT strategy. While IT focuses solely on technology, digitisation is transboundary and defines all business processes and activities. Its design is not different from the system of a traditional strategy, but the main focus here is on the applicable digitalisation opportunities and their impact on processes and goals.
The digital strategy sets the direction in which an organisation must proceed in order to achieve technological competitive advantages and the action plans to be implemented in order to make progress.
A very important factor for this is the development of the digital business model, in which the digital strategy can be determined by examining and understanding its elements (such as customer relationships, products, business models, value chains). This is a key part of the organization’s digital business transformation, ensuring that technology plays its role in supporting the goals to be achieved. This will enable the company to gain new distinctive abilities.
What is its purpose?
The goal of a digital strategy is to seek and find ways to make the most effective use of technological tools to transform business and enterprises. It maps the processes and steps that need to be changed in order for the companies be able to deliver higher quality products and services.
Transform traditional business elements such as production, design, marketing, etc. in a way that meets the expectations of today.
The focus is on creating a secure digital enterprise basis that keeps the company ahead of competitors in business.
Why is it needed?
A company that wants to remain competitive in the long run needs to develop a digital strategy. Regardless of the industry in which it is operating. Digitalism is developing unstoppably, and those who do not take up the rhythm take the risk of staying in the shadow of the emerging competition.
Companis digitised at a higher level make more profits, grow faster and are more capital-efficient. They reach the target audience much easier and the productivity of the organizations increase. Technology, data and information can be used to increase human resource performance and optimize costs.
An important point is that the achievement of goals online can only be achieved using the digital marketing strategy. Those who believe that traditional solutions can still be effectively made forward are stuck at a dead end. There is a positive trend that a significant proportion of businesses recognise at least the importance of using email, website and social media. However, they may not be able to optimally and purposefully exploit the other possibilities of virtual space.
The digital action plan identifies the benchmark to be achieved and a direction which leads to in the online space to branding, acquiring new customers or making current consumers more committed.
The consumer behavior of conventional channels is different from those experienced in virtual space. The strategy points to the need to know these shopping habits and customer needs, which can be studied using tools available on digital platforms (e.g. Google Analytics). Another advantage is that ROI (the return on investment), which, in contrast to the traditional strategy, can be monitored online, with regular measurement of which the costs of the strategy can be optimized.
Without a digital strategy, competitors can gain more market share and customers can easily forget the brand of the company. The most effective marketing can be achieved when digital media is integrated into traditional media. By appearing on the Internet, online value can be created for the audience, focusing on the target group, encouraging shopping and engagement in accordance with their needs.
A well-designed and implemented digital strategy supports and is consistent with business goals and helps to lay the foundations for sustainable growth. Allows the company to develop into a digital organization. It improves business performance, redefines rules and builds a more modern operational structure, whereby traditional methods lose their viability and efficiency.
What are the main factors of the digital strategy?
A digital strategy consists of essential elements that may be relevant to an organisation to varying degrees depending on the industry and business profile. If any of them are absent or are only present in the company’s operations in a traditional way, it seriously jeopardises the company’s market share, role and future goals.
Online presence on digital platforms
This includes all the interfaces where the business appears and is accessible to the audience. Examples include the own website, social media, ads, articles or links.
Digital marketing, that is, online advertising of the company on Internet resources!
Online marketing includes everything through which the consumers find the company. These can also be websites, mobile applications, social media profile pages or ads, blog articles, newsletters, etc.
Online sales via webshop!
This allows consumers to be served at any time and anywhere, while focusing on other areas of the company for development.
Provide customer contact in as many ways as possible!
This makes it possible for consumers to interact with the business via email, phone, website or social media.
Guaranteeing online safety!
This is especially important for organizations because digital tools, software, data, and information are extremely important and irreplaceable for a business. Cybersecurity includes the cloud security backup system, secure payment systems, and secure storage of enterprise and customer data on a digital interface.
Supplier interaction in the global market!
Online presence and digitisation enables the organization to establish partnerships with suppliers in international and global markets. Resources can be obtained from a much wider range of spectrum, and such business transactions can be more profitable than even within the national borders.
Providing mobile compatible solutions!
With apps, websites and payment options tailored to smartphone, tablet, the business makes it even easier and quicker for users to complete tasks. This is also an essential element for the Y and Z generations, whose basic device is a mobile and administer practically everything on it.
Efficiency through technology!
By integrating and applying digital technology into the organization, certain tasks can be automated, information is easier to access, and data can be processed in a shorter period of time. This saves time and costs, the work will be more efficient and the results will be higher. Communication can be improved and employees will also become more committed.
This allows the storage of data or using systems without obtaining additional tools. There is no need for an extra employee, as the cloud ensures the increase of capacity and the expansion of capabilities.
Implementation of the Digital Strategy
The Digital Action Plan goes beyond traditional strategy and business processes coordinated with IT. It not only focuses on internal operations, but also extends beyond the company’s borders and supply chains. When developing a digital strategy, it is necessary to take into account the market environment, competitors, partners and customers, as they are all intertwined.
Before any company starts developing a digital strategy, it is worthwhile to clarify some issues that will help make digital technology truly valuable and be of advantage in existing business and corporate strategies.
It is a risk to organise a digital strategy without a thorough review of opportunities and threats and unprepared. This wastes a lot of time, money and relevant opportunities, and it is very easy to misinterpret the actual needs and priorities of the company. In order to avoid this and to successfully develop in the digital economy, managers need to consider the following issues:
- What is the impact of digital technology on the enterprise? How much will it affect?
- What new business opportunities can it bring along?
- How can it make the organization more innovative?
- How does it affect the current business model and position within the industry?
- How can digital technology increase the market value of a business? How can it make it competitive?
- What new skills does it provide for the company?
- How does it help to distinguish the company from competitors?
- How can digital technology improve products and services?
- How does it improve the quality of products and services? How does it optimize your costs?
- How does it improve operational, strategic and performance enhancement processes?
- How does it optimize the supply chain management and efficiency?
- How does it affect the field and development of sales and marketing?
Expansion of customer/partner relationships
- How does digital technology affect the target group? Is it exploring new possibilities?
- Can another potential market be targeted?
- Does it increase the loyalty of the current consumer audience or, on the contrary, affects them negatively?
- What value does it provide for consumers?
Based on the answers given to these questions, it is possible to determine how digitisation affects the operation of the business and how it changes the company as a whole.
The establishment of a digital strategy requires choosing a responsible leader who is capable of managing this action plan and making appropriate decisions for effective changes. According to corporate goals, the potential weaknesses and strengths that technology can present for the future of the organization should be taken into account and the necessary steps are to be determined.
It is important to examine how much the digital infrastructure available increases or complements the operational processes of the business and how they comply with the current strategy. This will eliminate unnecessary investments that are not in line with the priorities and needs of the organisation and would unnecessarily waste resources.
The essence of the digital strategy is to create a business capable of keeping up with technological and digital changes and adapting to customers’ expectations.
With the spread of digitisation, business strategies will automatically become a digital strategy in the future. This kind of transformation is not only in the interests of companies, but are also demanded by consumers and society. With the rapid development of digitisation in the market, the most willing and innovative companies will be the winner of the competition for markets.
Author: Gabriella Pataki-Magyar
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