A recent article on LinkedIn by Tom Goodwin, titled Why your company doesn’t need a digital strategy, makes a lot of sense. Yet, I also think it’s an oversimplification of the technology forces impacting all businesses today.
The premise of the article is that you need a strategy, but there’s no reason to call it a “digital” strategy. It’s just business. You need to plan for competing in the changing marketplace, which has always been a requirement.
If you are starting a business these days, then you’re probably taking advantage of digital and technological tools from the start. It’s baked into your business and how you conduct your enterprise. The challenge, however, is when you have an existing business and need to make changes to keep up with the marketplace. Most of the forces within your marketplace are coming from technology adoptions and adaptations. That’s when a digital strategy is essential. You’ve got to determine the best way to keep up and ultimately get ahead.
When you are making changes in your business, whether it be to how you are using technology, interacting with customers, processing orders, or bookkeeping, you need a strategy. You need a plan which outlines where you are, where you want to be, what steps will close the gap between the two, and how you’ll measure progress. Those are the core components of any strategy, but are especially helpful for agile marketplaces that need to act, measure and adapt quickly to customer demands.
In my opinion, you do need a digital strategy if you want your business to survive and thrive. More importantly, you’ll need to adjust your mindset and approach to doing business in an increasingly digital marketplace. It’s your digital strategy that will help you make that mindset shift happen over time as you realize the opportunities available to serve your clients better with digital tools.