It seems to me that there are 5 key drivers of Digital Business Performance which need to be harnessed collectively to deliver a sustainable business in today’s Digital Economy.
1. Developing a Digital Strategy
There used to be a time when you could get last year’s Strategy document out of the bottom drawer, dust it off, change the dates, uplift the figures by the usual 10% and that was it – job done for another year.
Now, there’s a whole new competitive landscape. Like business start ups who’ve only ever been digital, with no investment in infrastructure, partnering left, right and centre to deliver their product or service and working with more people outside the company than inside.
Your strategy needs to recognise these new realities, the need to be agile and responsive to market conditions that are changing almost daily. It needs to embrace the capability that digital offers and weave it in to the fabric of your business.
2. Digital Leadership
It may well be that we still expect too much of our leaders, but be that as it may, leaders have to demonstrate to their people that they understand the challenges of the digital world and actually engage with it. It’s not enough just to go through the motions – people will very quickly see through this lack of authenticity. So step up, develop your personal brand and thought leadership so that it’s very clear what you stand for both inside and outside of the business.
3. Digital Marketing
They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but in the case of social media that’s often the knee jerk response of people who ‘don’t get it’ anyway. Customers are buying differently – they research more widely, are less likely to believe everything promotional material tells them and want to deal with people they trust. They want conversations not megaphone pronouncements. They’re now more likely to be using a mobile device whilst on the move – is your website up for this?
4. Digital People
Much is written and said about the Millennials and the attitudes they bring to the workplace. Frankly, they’re too important to ignore or marginalise, so working practices – and this includes the ways in which leaders and managers behave – need to be amended accordingly. They may be able to use their mobile devices with a magician’s ‘legere de main’ but that doesn’t necessarily make them business savvy. There needs to be a two way flow to match knowledge and capabilities.
5. Digital Processes
The comment ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ can no doubt be applied to the IT systems and processes of many companies – but that’s life. A radical overhaul probably isn’t at all feasible but when opportunities arise do re-think and re-align customer facing processes. Customers are increasingly attuned to gaps in your service delivery and less accommodating. Your staff, too, will know too where these gaps are. Start now on the journey of delivering a consistent and memorable customer experience.