The other side of your digital strategy

Paul Boag

It is not enough for an effective digital strategy to outline how your organisation intends to approach digital. It has another role too.

At the moment I am reading Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt, an excellent book I found on Leisa Reichelt reading list.

One of the things Richard writes is:

The term strategy should mean a cohesive response to an important challenge.

A good digital strategy should do exactly what Richard says. It should identify weaknesses in how an organisation approaches digital and then outline a cohesive response to this through a series of actions.

However, a digital strategy is only half the story, and the less important half at that.

You see the above strategy is the strategy for digital. In other words, digital is the subject about which the strategy is written. However, I also think that digital should be the cohesive response to broader business challenges.

Most organisations look at digital as a separate thing that you have to do. However, digital is also a solution to business challenges. A chance for your organisation to gain a competitive advantage.

As Gerry McGovern says:

Online is not something that can be neatly separated from the rest of the organization. It affects every aspect of the organization, from its employees to its customers. So, for that reason, you don’t need an online strategy. You need a single organizational strategy that is heavily influenced by online.

As I have written before, I disagree that an organisation shouldn’t have an online strategy. However, I think we have to change our view of digital. We need to begin seeing digital as a method of achieving our overall business strategy. We need to see digital as part of our cohesive response.