A Digitalization strategy is a form of strategic management and a business answer or response to a digital question, often best addressed as part of an overall business strategy. A digital strategy is often characterized by the application of new technologies to existing business activity and/or a focus on the enablement of new digital capabilities to their business (such as those created by the Information Age and often as a result of advancements in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunications, Internet, etc.). As is the case with its business strategy parent, a digital strategy can be formulated and implemented through a variety of different approaches.
Formulation often includes the process of specifying an organization’s vision, goals, opportunities and related activities in order to maximize the business benefits of digital initiatives to an organization. These can range from an enterprise focus, which considers the broader opportunities and risks digital can create and often includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, enterprise technology architectures and processes, innovation and governance; to more marketing and customer-focused efforts such as web sites, mobile, eCommerce, social, site and search engine optimization, and advertising.
The digital strategy is part of the business strategy and experts maintain that it cannot be effective or successful if built independently. It is argued that it represents how the business strategy is influenced by leveraging digital resources to create differential value. In the process, it reshapes traditional organizational strategies into modular, distributed, cross-functional, and global business processes.
There, are numerous approaches to conducting digital strategy, but at their core, all go through four steps:
- Identifying the opportunities and/or challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution;
- Identifying the unmet needs and goals of the external stakeholders that most closely align with those key business opportunities and/or challenges;
- Developing a vision around how the online assets will fulfill those business and external stakeholder needs, goals, opportunities and challenges, and
- Prioritizing a set of online initiatives which can deliver on this vision.